The 34-year-old LPGA veteran has won twice on the River Course at Kingsmill Resort – the only event she has won multiple times among her 14 career victories – and posted three other top-10 finishes in accumulating $953,610 in earnings at the course that she calls a “major championship” setup. She shot a second-round 63 on the way to winning the 2009 title, giving her a three-year-old defending champion status for this week. In 2005, she survived a 36-hole final day to win and end Annika Sorenstam’s five-tournament win streak.
So she was rightfully sorry when the Michelob Ultra Open was discontinued in 2009 – not only for golf reasons, but also personally. When the tournament started in 2003 at Kingsmill, Kerr chose to stay with a family on site instead of renting a hotel room. She struck up a great friendship with the Whittakers, Michael and Linda. The Whittakers have a wine cellar and are gourmet cooks, two of Kerr’s off-course hobbies. Relaxing after golf with the Whittakers made it easy to prepare for the next round. She has never missed the cut here, so it’s been seven full weeks of fun with the Whittakers.
“I walk around the grounds here and I just feel magic,” Kerr said. “I feel special vibes. I’ve always felt that since I’ve come here. Maybe it’s the family I stay with. Maybe it’s just the overall feel of the tournament and the competition, the course, everything that goes into that. I’ve just always had really good feelings when I've come here.”
So there may be no better place to break a two-year victory drought. Kerr’s last win came in the 2010 LPGA Championship. This year, she has earned four top-10 finishes, with T4s at the Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola and the LPGA Lotte Championship Presented by J Golf. Additionally, she gets a spotlight pairing in the first two rounds with Rolex Player of the Year No. 1 Stacy Lewis and two-time 2012 winner Ai Miyazato.