Kerr hopes Sandhills experience pays off at U.S. Open
Posted June 18
Pinehurst, N.C. — Chipper Jones had Shea Stadium.
Roland Garros belongs to Rafael Nadal.
But the Sandhills of North Carolina is Cristie Kerr territory.
At nearby Pine Needles, she finished high amateur in the U.S. Open in 1996 and fourth overall in 2001. Six years later, she took the top prize.
"I just knew I was going to win," Cristie Kerr said following her U.S. Open victory in 2007. "I know that's kind of odd to say, but I just knew it."
Kerr didn’t have that feeling for quite some time, as she went into a slump following her Open victory.
"I also had to learn how to handle everything that came with it," Kerr recalls. "Most of the time when someone wins an Open they definitely have a little lull in their career and I did back then as well."
Seven years later, the former number one in the world returns to the region, seeking the same prize, as a different golfer, and person.
One of those differences is a 21-pound, 6-month new bundle of joy named Mason.
"I tape my left wrist now because I like to pick up my son with my left arm and sometimes that bothers me, but you realize what's important in your life and what isn't," Kerr says. "I feel like it's helping me to be a better golfer as well."
Not sweating the small stuff could be Kerr's key to beating the heat and the other 155 competitors in the field.
"I was talking to Hollis Stacy about that last night, three-time U.S. Open champion, and she feels like someone who has won a U.S. Open before will win here, because of the experience and the patience it takes to be able to win on this golf course," Kerr says.
Given Kerr's decorated resume, who would bet against her?