Kingsmill is the only tournament that Kerr, 35, has won multiple times. She has also posted three other top-six finishes at the course that she calls a “major championship” setup. In 2005, Kerr survived a 36-hole final day to win and end Annika Sorenstam’s five-tournament win streak. She shot a second-round 63 on the way to winning the 2009 title. Last week, she beat Suzann Petterssen on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff at the Kingsmill Championship.
The relationship goes beyond just golf. When the LPGA began playing at Kingsmill in 2003, 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.
“They’re kind of like my adopted parents,” Kerr said. “They can never take the place of my parents obviously, and my dad is actually here this week. No, it’s just great. They cook every night and they make it kind of a stress-free week for me. They travel to see me at the Open and different tournaments and Solheim, and it's just they’re a lot of fun.”
Kerr’s victory pushed her closer to the top of the pecking order for most wins at one tournament. The record is five, held by the following five players:
5, Mickey Wright, Sea Island Open (1957-58, 1960, 1962-63)
5, Kathy Whitworth, Orange Blossom Classic (1965, 1968-70, 1974)
5, Annika Sorenstam, Samsung World Championship (1995-96, 2002, 2004-2005)
5, Annika Sorenstam, Mizuno Classic (2001-2005)
5, Se Ri Pak, Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Presented by Kroger (1998-99, 2001, 2003, 2007)
Close calls on the LPGA
Through nine tournaments on the 2013 LPGA schedule, only two tournaments have been secured by the final hole. Stacy Lewis won the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup by three strokes and Inbee Park won the Kraft Nabisco Championship by three, winning margins worthy of the No. 1 ranked player (Park) and No. 2 (Lewis).
Here’s a look at margins of victory in other events:
Two strokes – Jiyai Shin at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.
One stroke – Inbee Park at the Honda LPGA Thailand 2013 and Stacy Lewis at the HSBC Women’s Champions 2013.
Playoffs – Beatriz Recari at the Kia Classic; Suzann Petterssen at the LPGA Lotte Championship and Cristie Kerr at the Kingsmill Championship.
Who won from where
The winner’s circle has seen representatives of four different countries this year, led by South Korea and the United States. The winners:
South Korea (4 wins) – Jiyai Shin, Inbee Park (3)
United States (3 wins) – Stacy Lewis (2), Cristie Kerr
Spain (1) – Beatriz Recari
Norway (1) – Suzann Petterssen
Inbee Park, the No. 1 player in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, is in Japan this week during the LPGA’s off week and will be visiting South Korea the following week when the LPGA resumes play May 16-19 at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic. Park has recorded four consecutive top-seven finishes, including two wins. She has won three times this season … Beatriz Recari has played in 61 consecutive LPGA tournaments, dating back to the 2010 Lorena Ochoa Invitational. She has not missed a cut in 42 straight LPGA tournaments, going back to the September 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic. … With their playoff participation last week at the Kingsmill Championship, Suzann Petterssen and Cristie Kerr each moved up two spots in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings – Petterssen to third and Kerr to 10th. … Cristie Kerr is only $140,368.30 behind Lorena Ochoa for third on the career money list. Annika Sorenstam is first ($22,573,192) and Karrie Webb second ($17,615,538.75). … Gerina Piller has three top-10 finishes this season, including a T9 at the Kingsmill Championship after a final-round 66. She recorded two last year, including another T9 at Kingsmill. … Lizette Salas has shot the lowest round in two of the last three tournaments. A final-round 62 got her in a playoff at the LPGA Lotte Championship three weeks ago and her third-round 65 at Kingsmill last week got her into contention before she finished T17.
Topics: Stats and Stuff