Originally created 05/17/02

Inconsistent play frustrates Kerr

After her adventurous final hole during Round 1 of the Asahi Ryokuken International Championship on Thursday, Cristie Kerr didn't want to discuss her day.

"I'm really not in the mood right now. Thanks," she said.

Kerr, the woman who lost 50 pounds in the past three years, lost two shots to par on the par-5 ninth hole en route to an opening 2-over-par 74. She trails first-round leader Laura Davies by seven shots.

The 24-year-old Kerr is having the best year of her short career. In her sixth full season on the LPGA Tour, Kerr won for the first time - at the Longs Drugs Challenge - three weeks ago. Kerr has six top-20 finishes in eight starts and ranks fourth on the money list with $307,481.

One reason for her improved play is her improved physical condition. Since 1999, the 5-foot-4 Kerr has been eating better and exercising. She's dropped eight dress sizes from a flabby 175 pounds to a svelte 125 pounds. Kerr recently posed for Golf World magazine wearing a sports bra.

On Thursday, Kerr played inconsistently at Mount Vintage Plantation Golf Club, hitting just 10 of 18 greens in regulation. She began her round on the par-4 10th and birdied the hole. After a bogey on No. 12, she remained at even-par through 10 holes.

Kerr, of Miami, bogeyed Nos. 2 and 4 to fall back to 2-over par. But after making birdies on Nos. 5 and 6, she appeared to be salvaging her round. Kerr remained at even-par entering the 490-yard ninth hole.

After blasting a drive down the middle of the fairway, Kerr knocked her approach into the front greenside bunker. She sculled her bunker shot over the green and hit a flop shot that appeared to be headed for the cup. Instead, her ball missed the hole by inches and started trickling toward the green's lower tier.

"Don't you dare, don't you dare," Kerr said, screaming ather ball.

It didn't listen. Her fourth shot rolled off the shelf and eventually settled at the bottom of the green, leaving a 25-foot comebacker for par. She missed the putt and left herself a 3-foot bogey attempt.

Kerr lipped out the putt, settling for a three-putt double bogey. After leaving the scoring tent, she headed toward the driving range.

Thursday's round marked the fifth time in nine starts this year that Kerr has started over par. In the other four times, she finished tied for 18th, tied for third, missed the cut and tied for 59th.

Reach Chris Gay at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 114.


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