Kerr ends winless drought with first title as a mother

By Randall MellMarch 30, 2015, 2:50 am

Cristie Kerr is tough to beat with that look in her eye.

She won with it Sunday at the Kia Classic, claiming her 17th LPGA title, her first since the Kingsmill Championship almost two years ago. It can be disconcerting and unsettling in its piercing nature, a look as close as women in golf get to witnessing what UFC fighters see behind Rhonda Rousey’s cocked fist.

That’s what made Kerr’s tears so striking after she closed out her victory at Aviara Golf Club.

From fierce to glistening, from hard to soft, those eyes told a rich story Sunday of how Kerr ended her 22-month winless spell.

She won desperately wanting to win for the first time as a mother.

Kerr, 37, is known for being as tough as nails between the ropes. At her best, she walks in putts the way a boxer walks over to an opponent he just knocked out. She barks at golf balls fully expecting their unwavering obedience. That’s what made her tears in the aftermath of the victory so unexpected.

Kerr cried realizing a dream, scooping up her 15-month-old son, Mason, aside the 18th green for the first time after winning.

“It was amazing having him there, and he just gave me a big smile and a squeak,” Kerr said in her news conference afterward. “I always hoped this day would come and now it has, and I’m just so proud.”

Kerr’s husband, Erik Stevens, was there relishing the moment, too. Nobody understood what the moment meant more.

“When I got in contention last year, I thought about winning a little too much, wanting Mason to be on the green, but you know, everything happens for a reason,” Kerr said. “Last year, he couldn't have run out to meet me. So maybe that was fate, too.  But it was just huge.”

Kerr also wanted to win for Greg Johnston, her caddie. His father died a week ago. He missed the JTBC Founders Cup to mourn with family.

“His father passing away last week, I mean it just shows you life is really short, and you have to seize the moment when you can,” Kerr said. “I really just felt extra motivation, to play for us, and also reflecting back to what I'm grateful for and have in my life. “

Kerr will be looking to seize the moment again next week at the ANA Inspiration, formerly the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the year’s first major championship. She’ll be taking a load of confidence with her after Sunday’s victory at Kia. She’ll be taking that look in her eye, too, the one that makes her dangerous with a major on the line.

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McIlroy 'committed to everything ... ran out of holes'

By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 7:08 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy summed it up: “I don’t really feel like it’s a defeat. I feel like it’s a good week.”

McIlroy, in search of his fifth major, tied for the lead at The Open late on Sunday at Carnoustie when he made eagle on the par-5 14th hole. An hour later, he had made five consecutive pars to close out a 1-under 70 and tie for second place with Justin Rose, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele.

That group ended two shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. McIlroy thought it was realistic to squeeze one more shot out of his round, but he never though it was possible to squeeze out two.

“I committed to everything,” he said. “I hit the shots when I needed to. I made good swings on 17 and on 18. I just ran out of holes.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

McIlroy hasn’t played poorly this year, but this hasn't been a year that would rank as a total success. He took the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March and collected a second-place finish at the BMW PGA Championship. He had a legitimate chance to win the Masters before a terrible Sunday round, and then missed the cut at the U.S. Open last month at Shinnecock Hills.

Sunday at Carnoustie, McIlroy bogeyed two of his first five holes and quickly became an afterthought. When others faltered, McIlroy birdies Nos. 9 and 11, then eagled 14 to vault back into the picture.

“I’m happy with how I played,” he said. “I didn’t get off to a great start, but I hung in there, and I battled back.

“So I’ll look back at this week and be very encouraged about what I’ve done and the golf that I played. I feel like that will stand me in good stead for what’s coming up.”

McIlroy is scheduled to play the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks, followed by the PGA Championship and the FedExCup Playoffs.

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Edoardo, other pros congratulate Francesco on Twitter

By Grill Room TeamJuly 22, 2018, 6:54 pm

Francesco Molinari played a bogey-free weekend at Carnoustie to claim Italy's first claret jug.

His rock-solid performance in the final round earned him his share of social media plaudits.

Here's a collection of Twitter hat-tips, and we start off with Frankie's brother, Dodo.

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Woods: Fan who yelled had 'tipped back a few'

By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 6:37 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods stood on the 18th tee and thought he needed birdie to have a chance to win The Open. He pulled driver out of his bag, a sign he wanted to boot the ball as far down the fairway as possible.

Woods took a mighty swat and - right in the middle of his downswing - someone yelled. Woods flinched.

Luckily his ball still found a decent spot just off the right of the fairway.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I’ve had things like that happen a lot in my career with people who just tried to time it,” Woods said Sunday at Carnoustie after shooting 71 to tie for sixth place. “They tipped back a few, and it’s late in the day.

“Unfortunately, that’s part of what we have to deal with in today’s game. People are trying to yell out things to try to be on TV or be in social media or whatever it may be. That was too close to the game of play.”

Woods hit his approach to 6 feet and missed the birdie putt. He tapped in for par to shoot even par and finish 5 under for the week, in a tie for sixth.

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Pros melt down on Twitter as they watch Tiger

By Grill Room TeamJuly 22, 2018, 6:30 pm

Tiger Woods mounted a final-round charge and, for a little while, took the outright lead at Carnoustie on Sunday.

His fellow pros were watching and tweeting like your average fans.

We compiled some of their missives below:

Woods would go on to finish in a tie for sixth at 5 under par for the week.