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Kerr roars from cut line to contention

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PHOENIX – Cristie Kerr scrambled hard just to make the cut Friday at the JTBC Founders Cup.

When she signed her scorecard Saturday, she was in the hunt for a chance to win her 17th LPGA title, a victory that would be special coming near her Scottsdale winter home, just three months after the birth of her first child.

Blistering Wildfire Golf Club with a 9-under-par 63, Kerr equaled the course record, set by Ai Miyazato in the first round last year. Kerr started Saturday T-67 but was T-2 when she signed her scorecard, a good hour before the leaders teed off.

Kerr needed a late birdie Friday to make the cut.

“When you’re home, you’re not missing the cut, because you know there are low rounds if the weather’s good,” Kerr said. “So you just have to hang in there and play the weekend.”

It’s a special week for Kerr, playing at home, where she was able to introduce her 3-month-old son, Mason Kerr Stevens, to fellow players for the first time. Mason was at the course Wednesday, but Kerr said she didn’t dare bring him out during tournament play.

“He’s just too young,” Kerr said. “I’m afraid he’s going to laugh or squeak when somebody’s over the putt, and then what are you going to do?”

Kerr eagled the 15th hole Saturday, which helped the LPGA’s Wounded Warriors Weekend Project. A $1,000 donation for every eagle made on Saturdays and Sundays goes to the project. It's a cause dear to Kerr. Just this week, she announced that the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation will match every dollar she makes on tour this year as a donation to the Semper Fi Fund, which helps injured and critically ill military service members. Kerr's father, Michael, is a Vietnam War veteran.