Stats and Stuff: For defending champion Kerr, Kingsmill is all in the family

Photo Credit: Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Cristie Kerr hits her second shot on the eighth hole during the final round of the Kingsmill Championship at Kingsmill Resort on May 5, 2013 in Williamsburg, Virginia.

May 13 2014, Ward Clayton

For defending champion Kerr, Kingsmill is all in the family
Cristie Kerr spent her first Mother’s Day as a mother in a very comfortable place. The 35-year-old American was in Williamsburg, Va., last week, relaxing and preparing for the defense of her Kingsmill Championship presented by JTBC title this week in the coastal Virginia community.

Kerr has three wins at Pete Dye’s River Course, is a cumulative 40-under par in those wins and has six top-10 finishes in nine starts. That includes $1.148 million in earnings (of $15.3 million in career earnings). Kingsmill is the only tournament that Kerr has won multiple times on the same course, one that she calls a “major championship” setup. In 2005, Kerr survived a 36-hole final day to win (on Mother’s Day) and end Annika Sorenstam’s five-tournament win streak. She shot a second-round 63 on the way to winning the 2009 title (on Mother’s Day). Last year, she beat Suzann Pettersen on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff (the Sunday before Mother’s Day weekend).

The results have been tremendous partially because of Kerr’s relaxed state at Kingsmill. She brought her new-born son Mason (born in December) to Virginia last week for Mother’s Day so that her “extended” family could enjoy the weekend.

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. She also found a family on the road which has developed into a kinship where the Whittakers regularly travel to watch her play on the LPGA.

That family connection multiplied last season in her win when Cristie’s father was in attendance – the first time he had been on site when Cristie won.

“They’re kind of like my adopted parents,” Kerr said. “They can never take the place of my parents obviously … 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 2014 season began slowly with finishes outside of the top 20 in two international starts. But since the LPGA started its American event and Mason and husband Erik Stevens were able to travel with her, Kerr has six top-10s, including a fourth at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Kerr’s victory last year 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:

Wins Player Tournament Years
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 1998-99, 2001, 2003, 2007



River Course’s long history of professional golf

The River Course at Kingsmill Resort has been a staple in professional golf since Pete Dye designed the course in 1976. This year marks the 32nd time a pro tournament has been held here, beginning with the PGA Tour from 1981-2002 and the LPGA from 2003-2009 and 2012-current. The LPGA began playing in the Tidewater area of Virginia in 1956 when Marlene Bauer won the Triangle Round Robin at Cavalier Yacht and Country Club in Virginia Beach.

Here are the winners of the events at Kingsmill:

PGA Tour    
Year  Event Winner
1981 Anheuser Busch Golf Classic John Mahaffey
1982 Anheuser Busch Golf Classic Calvin Peete
1983 Anheuser Busch Golf Classic Calvin Peete
1984 Anheuser Busch Golf Classic Ronnie Black
1985 Anheuser Busch Golf Classic Mark Wiebe
1986 Anheuser Busch Golf Classic Fuzzy Zoeller
1987 Anheuser Busch Golf Classic Mark McCumber
1988 Anheuser Busch Golf Classic Tom Sieckmann
1989 Anheuser Busch Golf Classic Mike Donald
1990 Anheuser Busch Golf Classic Lanny Wadkins
1991 Anheuser Busch Golf Classic Mike Hulbert
1992 Anheuser Busch Golf Classic David Peoples
1993 Anheuser Busch Golf Classic Jim Gallagher Jr.
1994 Anheuser Busch Golf Classic Mark McCumber
1995 Anheuser Busch Golf Classic Ted Tryba
1996 Michelob Championship at Kingsmill Scott Hoch
1997 Michelob Championship at Kingsmill David Duval
1998 Michelob Championship at Kingsmill David Duval
1999 Michelob Championship at Kingsmill Notah Begay III
2000 Michelob Championship at Kingsmill David Toms
2001 Michelob Championship at Kingsmill David Toms
2002 Michelob Championship at Kingsmill Charles Howell III
     
LPGA    
2003 Michelob Ultra Open at Kingsmill Grace Park
2004 Michelob Ultra Open at Kingsmill Se Ri Pak
2005 Michelob Ultra Open at Kingsmill Cristie Kerr
2006 Michelob Ultra Open at Kingsmill Karrie Webb
2007 Michelob Ultra Open at Kingsmill Suzann Pettersen
2008 Michelob Ultra Open at Kingsmill Annika Sorenstam
2009 Michelob Ultra Open at Kingsmill Cristie Kerr
2012 Kingsmill Championship Jiyai Shin
2013 Kingsmill Championship Cristie Kerr



Etc.

Lexi Thompson spent last week in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., watching her older brother Nicholas play in The Players Championship. He missed the cut. However, it wasn’t all bad news for the Thompsons last week. Curtis, an amateur at LSU, shot 66 in Florida to advance from U.S. Open local qualifying to the regional qualifier level on June 2. … This week’s Kingsmill Championship will have all four rounds televised by the Golf Channel, with taped coverage on Thursday and Friday from 8:30-10 p.m. EDT and live on Saturday and Sunday from 5-7 p.m. … Dori Carter is having her best LPGA season, with a T10 at the Kia Classic (including a second-round 64 that finished bogey-bogey, but gained the second-round lead) and a career-best T6 at the North Texas Shootout two weeks ago. She has earned $80,113 this year, 42 percent of her career earnings ($192,436). … Eight of the top 10 players in the world are entered this week. Only No. 1 Inbee Park and No. 7 Shanshan Feng are not in the field.

Topics: Stats and Stuff, Kingsmill Championship

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