Q. We’re here with Cristie Kerr. Bienvenue, Evian Masters. You’ve had a tremendous year this year, two victories, including a major championship. You finished the Evian Masters the last two years in the top 10. Can you talk a little bit about the week so far and your preparation?
CRISTIE KERR: It’s been is great week so far. The weather has been beautiful, as it usually is here. Hopefully the rain will stay away.
The golf course is in great condition. The greens are the best I’ve seen. Like I said, hopefully the rain will stay away, because they’re just firm enough to where they’re very smooth.
My preparation has been good. I played 18 holes on Monday and I played 9 holes yesterday. Had some good practice. I feel like I’m over the jet lag, so I’m ready to go.
Q. What’s it like not playing and losing your No. 1 status without anyone playing?
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, it’s interesting. I don’t know. It’s just the way the averages work out, I guess. Like I said, it’s one thing to get there, but it’s another to stay there. You just don’t expect to kind of lose it when you don’t play, when nobody plays.
So just the averages will work out at the end of the year, and we’ll see how it goes.
Q. Are you as confident now with your game as you’ve ever been in your career?
CRISTIE KERR: I think I am. I’m in a good place mentally, and I’m having a lot of fun playing professional golf. We could be in worse places than looking at Lake Geneva playing the Evian Masters, that’s for sure.
Q. It’s a great run of events, isn’t it? The LPGA, U.S. Open, now here, and then next week as well. This is the time of year for you to really hit your form like you did a few weeks ago.
CRISTIE KERR: Yes. You definitely want to try and peak this time of the year with all these major tournaments. With this being one of the highest purses on tour, if not the highest tied with the U.S. Open, I believe you definitely want to try and play your best.
It’s a very enjoyable week here in Evian.
Q. If you won Evian, would it be very different from the U.S. Open or the LPGA victory?
CRISTIE KERR: I think it would be very different. It would believe amazing for me. One of my primary sponsors is Lacoste, and they’re a major sponsor of this event. We get to see the whole family here this week. Michel, and I don’t know who else from the family is gonna be here because they’re all arriving today.
But it’s gonna be a great week. It would be very exciting for myself and for them. Hopefully we can pull it off this year.
Q. Your group is not a bad looking group there, is it? You, Paula Creamer, and Ai Miyazato.
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, it’s gonna be an exciting day. This is what this tournament is all about: the stars, having the best fields, the best purse, the best location.
It is different from the U.S. Open in feel, because I feel like this is a lot more relaxed atmosphere than the U.S. Open.
It’s gonna be a great week.
Q. People are talking as Evian maybe a future major even. Can you talk about the course here, and do you think there are good for this to be a major course and bad points? What do you think of this course here?
CRISTIE KERR: I don’t have anything bad to say about this course. I love this golf course. It’s challenging; it’s hilly; there’re a lot of birdie holes.
But, you know, the greens are very challenging, and you know, over the four days, it’s not only a test of golf but a test of stamina with the golf course paragraph the area a beautiful and I think in this golf course.
The area is beautiful, and I think that this golf course has the feel of a major championship. So if it ended up being a major championship, I think everybody would be very happy. This is definitely one of the premier tournaments on the schedule. You know, I don’t make those decisions, but as a player, we would celebrate it.
Q. Could this course be a major maybe even?
CRISTIE KERR: Yes. I mean, I think there are many things that go into making a tournament a major. Golf course is one of them, area, the sponsors, you know, where we stay, the feel of the whole week. I think this tournament has all the ingredients.
Q. One of the stars here would be 15 year old young girl. Is it hard for experienced players to find young players who arrive like this and to be a star right away?
CRISTIE KERR: Well, I think it’s becoming more common than when I first came out on tour. But 15 is very young, not only to be playing in these tournaments, but to be professional.
I’ve known Alexis Thompson for a long time. She’s from South Florida, as am I. She’s very talented. She had a good showing in the U.S. Open, and she’s over here now getting experience.
So I think that these are very interesting stories for the tour.
Q. When you won at the LPGA championship and it was like one tournament for you and one for the rest. Your performance was extraordinary. Can you say any of the things that you think got you to that point where you were so much better than anybody else and won by so many shots?
CRISTIE KERR: I think that it was a dream performance, obviously one I would like it duplicate. I think mentally I was at a different level that week, and physically it was to the point where it met that mental and it kind of matched and it was a great performance.
I was definitely in control the golf ball and where I wanted to put it on the course. And when I got in trouble, I made great recovery shots and I putted very well.
It’s not a secret. On every shot I was very present and there, and that my goal and where I want to try and get to every week.
Q. Are you still using the putter that you won with?
CRISTIE KERR: Yes.
Q. And how fast are you greens here? What would you say they’re running at?
CRISTIE KERR: Stimpmeter, I would say they’re probably about an 11, which is pretty fast for these greens considering the amount of slope that there is.
This year is the best greens that I’ve seen in a long time on this golf course. I think they have done a good job to get it in shape.
Q. You have been No. 1 in the world for three weeks. What was the feeling you had to be No. 1 in the world? And second question, do you think that the retirement of Annika and Lorena opened new gates for all the players to be No. 1?
CRISTIE KERR: What was the first question again?
Q. What was your feeling to be No. 1.
CRISTIE KERR: It’s amazing. You know, it’s kind of weird for neither myself or Ai to play a tournament and then for me to lose the ranking. It’s fun for me to try and get it back now, so I’m looking forward to that.
I’ve dreamed about it and worked for it my whole life to get it No. 1. Certainly don’t want to lose a ranking by not playing, but that’s the way the divisor for the points system works. She played one more or one less, I’m not sure, tournaments than me. But it was a great feeling. That’s where you want to be, at the pinnacle of your sport.
Those two players retiring, I think myself and Ai are playing some great golf this year. Who knows how it would have played out if they were playing currently. Certainly when two players that have played dominated for a very long time, you know, stepping away from the game, of course it’s gonna open the door from some other players.
I would say if you put their play up against ours this year, it might be tough.
Q. You’ve worked with Dr. Joseph Perron.
CRISTIE KERR: Uh huh.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about that? How long you worked with him and how regularly do you see or speak or work with him?
CRISTIE KERR: I’ve been working with him for the past two years. I speak to him probably two to three times a week. I see him a couple times a year. He’s a very busy man as well travelling around. We just missed each other because he was at the men’s British Open and he was flying back and I was flying over here. It’s been great to work with him these past two years.
Q. Your bringing out your own wine. Can you tell us about that? You’re in one of the great wine producing countries of the world, about how you got interested in wine and when it’s gonna be available.
CRISTIE KERR: We just released our 2006 vintage in the United States, and finally making some headway with getting distribution set up to get it to consumers and distributors to be able to put it in those high end clubs and restaurants.
So we’ve just released our 2006 vintage. Overseas is gonna be a while probably. It takes a while it to get things set up in the United States. We didn’t make that much wine to begin with, so I’m hoping to get it over here. I think it would be difficult.
The wine is called Curvature. It’s a Napa Valley cabernet we’re making with the people from Pride Mountain, which is a world renowned winery. They’re served in the White House. In America, they’re sold out every year before they even bottle their wine. They’re very hard to get. Very high end producer of wine.
The winemaker, Sally Johnson, is a woman, and Suzanne Pride, the co owner of the winery is a breast cancer survivor, and 100% of our profits are going for breast cancer. So it’s a passion project for me and for Suzanne, that we can do what we I can get into wine and she can do what she loves, which is to be able to raise money for cancer.
I first got into wine when we had the Samsung World Championships of Women’s Golf in Napa Valley. We stayed the heart of Napa Valley. I think that was maybe 2003, 2004, and I would I would play early practice rounds and go around and wine taste and go with some of the other players and just fell in love with the area. I found out that I have a fairly good palate, and that’s how it all started.
Q. How it happens you have a French sponsor? Not so many American wear Lacoste.
CRISTIE KERR: We got introduced to the Lacoste family through a mutual friend. As you may or may not know, the Lacoste brand in America is a very hot brand. It’s probably went from $50 million in revenue to over $250 million in probably five or six years. Very hot brand. Got a big fashion show during the fashion weeks in New York. Very prominent brand.
It was fitting that they wanted an American to represent that facet of their business. So I was honored for them to choose me.
Q. Are you the only female player to play Lacoste in America?
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, I believe so.