Kerr loves the US Open


BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Perhaps no player in the field at this week’s U.S. Women’s Open feels more at home than Cristie Kerr. Or confident. In her last nine Women’s Open appearances dating back to 2000, Kerr’s worst finish is a tie for 32nd. She’s finished in the top 10 four times, capped off by her lone major title in 2007 at Pine Needles.

“It just makes the butterflies in my stomach go. I just love it,” said Kerr of the Open. “It’s always the toughest course, the toughest setup; the variety of the setup, the field, the prestige. It’s the biggest purse. I mean, it’s the jewel in the crown of what you want to win as a professional. It’s the biggest tournament, so I get excited about that.”

Kerr outlasted Lorena Ochoa by two strokes on the final day in 2007, even though, as she says now, “I didn’t start hitting it good until the 13th hole, when I just figured out a way to get it done.” Of Kerr’s 12 LPGA Tour victories, 11 have come in the last six years. With more than $700,000 in earnings already in 2009, she’s well on her way to her sixth straight $1 million season. A win this week at Saucon Valley Country Club will be worth $585,000.

“There’s not that question can I do it, have I done it?” said Kerr about the possibly of adding a second U.S. Open title this week. “I feel really comfortable, and I know it really takes nothing special, nothing extra. It’s just good, solid golf you have to play. You have to manage your misses and your mistakes. And I think for me, the more difficult the setup, the more simplified I get with my game because I know exactly what I have to do.”