Kerr defending title with extra motivation


ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Cristie Kerr won the Wegmans LPGA Championship by a record 12 shots last year.

Given how invincible she looked that week, it’s surprising that she’s gone 12 months without another victory.

Kerr was reminded of the winless spell in her news conference on Wednesday.

“Yes, it’s time,” Kerr said flatly.

While Kerr relishes the memories of her historic rout, she won’t be reminiscing when she tees it up Thursday at Locust Hill Country Club.

“It’s a different year,” Kerr said. “I’m not 12 shots ahead of the field starting out this week. You would like it to be that way, but it isn’t.”

Kerr knows nobody is giving her anything this week. Suzann Pettersen wouldn’t even concede that Kerr’s the player to beat.

“As far as I know, that’s a year ago,” said Pettersen, who defeated Kerr in the finals of the Sybase Match Play Championship last month.

Kerr, 33, arrives with lots of motivation. That second place at Sybase was one of three consecutive runner-up finishes she brings to the LPGA Championship.

“I take it as a positive,” Kerr said. “If you’re finishing second every week, there is a lot going right for you.”

Kerr has 14 LPGA titles in her career, two of them majors. She’s finished second 21 times in her career.

“I’ve been putting well and just have to get those putts on Sunday to drop for me,” Kerr said.

Kerr’s considered one of the best putters on tour and showed it dominating at Locust Hill.

“It’s a God-given talent,” Kerr said. “It’s always been my favorite part of the game. I’ve always felt very artistic with it. I see other people being technical, and I don’t understand that. It’s about speed and pace and feeling the slope. You have to have that vision.”

While Kerr rotates favorite putters, she’s got her Odyssey Marxman back in the bag, the same putter she used to race to 19-under in winning at Locust Hill last year.