Kerr cards 71, putting dooms chances at lower first round


RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Cristie Kerr’s ball striking was sharp in Thursday’s first round of the Kraft Nabisco, but she left more than one green scratching her head after sticking an approach close.

Kerr opened with A 1-under-par 71 in a bid to win her third major championship and her first Kraft title.

She hit 15 greens in regulation, barely missing two others, with her shots rolling to the fringes, but she needed 32 putts.

Karrie Webb, playing alongside Kerr, also opened with a 71.

“The greens are just tricky,” said Kerr, 34. “They are in perfect shape. I hit a lot of putts where I was looking, and the right speed, but you’re going to have a couple head scratchers out here.'

 Conditions seemed perfect with little wind Thursday, but scoring was difficult. Tough pin placements and quick greens caused problems.

“You have to factor in the Indio effect, but you still have to putt, you still have to read the putt and have a good feeling when you are over it,” Kerr said.

Kerr is looking to win her 15th LPGA title, her first since winning the LPGA Championship in 2010.