Kerr Looks to Double Up in Illinois


2005 State Farm ClassicSPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Fresh off a win yesterday at the Wendy's Championship for Children and with The Solheim Cup just a week around the corner, Cristie Kerr has just one more important task to check off her to-do list before her travels to Indiana.
The 27-year-old is defending her third title of the year at the State Farm Classic in Springfield, Ill. Last year, Kerr held off her now-Solheim Cup teammate Christina Kim with a one-shot victory and tournament-record 264 (-24).
This year, the six-time LPGA champion will face nine other past State Farm Classic champions: LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame member Betsy King (1985, 1986 and 1988); Mary Beth Zimmerman (1995); Cindy Figg-Currier (1997); Pearl Sinn-Bonanni (1998); Mi Hyun Kim (1999); Laurel Kean (2000); Kate Golden (2001); Patricia Meunier-Lebouc (2002); and Candie Kung (2003).
In addition to Kerr, eight other tournament champions from 2005 are teeing it up at the Rail Golf Course this week, including Heather Bowie, Jimin Kang, Soo-Yung Kang, Birdie Kim, Lorena Ochoa, Stacy Prammanasudh, Jennifer Rosales and Wendy Ward.
Kerr also heads into the event with an 18-point lead in the State Farm LPGA Series Bonus Pool standings, ahead of Annika Sorenstam (388). With 406 points, Kerr will be looking to claim the $100,000 first-place prize for the first time. The State Farm LPGA Series is a 10-event tournament series consisting of LPGA events on ESPN and ESPN2, where players can earn points for their finishes in those 10 events towards the bonus pool. Players must compete in the State Farm Classic, where points are tripled, to be eligible for the State Farm Series Bonus Pool.
The balance of the $250,000 purse will be distributed among the players finishing in the top 10 of the final points standings. Kerr, along with 13 others playing at the State Farm Classic, are in the running for the first-place prize, including Bowie (220), Catriona Matthew (204), Ochoa (192), Ward (172), Gloria Park (170), Juli Inkster (154), Prammanasudh (154), Mi Hyun Kim (150), Michele Redman (140), Christina Kim (128), Candie Kung (128), Pat Hurst (124) and Hee-Won Han (116).
Along with Kerr and Christina Kim, five members of the U.S. Solheim Cup Team will compete at the State Farm Classic before making their way to Carmel, Ind., including World Golf Hall of Fame member Inkster, who will be making her sixth appearance on the U.S. Team, Solheim Cup 'rookie' Natalie Gulbis, three-time U.S. Team member Hurst, and two-time U.S. Team members Laura Diaz and Ward.
For the European Solheim Cup Team, Laura Davies, Maria Hjorth, Cartriona Matthew, Suzann Pettersen and Karen Stupples will be in the State Farm Classic field, as will European Team Captain Catrin Nilsmark.
Also in the field are sponsor exemptions Brittany Lang and amateur Morgan Pressel. Lang, 19, tied as runner-up with 17-year-old Pressel at this year's U.S. Women's Open in June. Since turning professional after the U.S. Women's Open, Lang's top finish was a tie for sixth place at the BMO Financial Group Canadian Women's Open. Pressel, who plans to attend the LPGA Tour's qualifying school in the fall, will compete for the U.S. PING Junior Solheim Cup Team next week.
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - State Farm Classic