Kerr falls short in bid to end American drought


ORLANDO, Fla. – Cristie Kerr came up three shots short in her bid to become the first American in 16 years to win the LPGA Rolex Player-of-the-Year award, but she likes the momentum Americans are building.

Kerr, 33, became the first American to gain the No. 1 Rolex world ranking earlier this season. Kerr (LPGA Championship) and fellow American Paula Creamer (U.S. Women’s Open) claimed major championships. The Americans, however, were shut out Sunday, failing to win any of the big season-ending awards.

Also, Kerr, Creamer and Michelle Wie were the only Americans to win this season with Kerr winning twice.

“I think it’s getting better,” Kerr said of the American presence on tour. “We’re a lot more competitive than we have been the last couple years.”

Kerr needed to win Sunday to become the first American to be the LPGA’s Rolex Player of the Year since Beth Daniel in 1994. Kerr bogeyed the first and third holes in a sluggish start.

“Maybe put a little too much pressure on myself,” said Kerr, who tied for third Sunday after closing with a 1-over-par 73. “But I eased into it and played great the rest of the day.”

Kerr’s two victories this season were among her 11 finishes of T5 or better.

“I know I’ve had other years where I’ve won more tournaments, but, overall, as far as consistency, it’s probably my best year,” Kerr said.