RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Cristie Kerr brings mixed memories to this week's Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Good memories came in stepping to the final tee box last year a shot behind the leader and closing with a clutch birdie. It took one of the best shots in major championship history to beat her, Brittany Lincicome’s 210-yard rainbow to 4 feet to set up an eagle.
There's a bad memory in the drive she hit left and out of bounds at the 15th hole, which cost her the one-shot lead she gained with a birdie at the 14th.
“I was very encouraged that I was so close,” Kerr said. “It leaves a hunger in your belly, a fire in your belly. I just hope to contend again. If you can contend, you never know.”
Kerr, a 12-time LPGA winner, learned something from the errant drive.
“I rushed,” Kerr said. “An official came up and said you have to make up time. In hindsight, I don’t know why we did, because we weren’t really behind. I got out of my routine and rushed a little bit. I probably could have hit 3-wood off that tee, in hindsight. You learn a little bit every day.”
Kerr is the highest ranked American in the world at No. 5 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings. She is bidding to add a second major to the U.S. Women’s Open title she won in ’07. Her second-place finish at last year’s Kraft was the sixth time she’s finished second or third in a major.