Cristie Kerr has been battling three dislocated ribs after an unfortunate golf cart accident before the start of Volunteers of America Classic two weeks ago and persevered through the pain at the U.S. Women’s Open to finish in a tie for 23rd in Houston. Now in her eighth CME Group Tour Championship, the 2015 champion recorded a bogey-free 68 to sit in a tie for sixth after the first round in Naples, Fla.
“I feel a little bit better today, but I just thought it was really important to get through last week. There were points where I didn't think that I was going to be able to, but I guess when they say there is a will there is a way,” said Kerr, who didn’t practice Tuesday upon getting to Tiburon Golf Club. “I think that day of rest really helped me, because as I played more in the pro-am, it hurt more, and so I kind of pulled out with five holes to go because I knew I had to save myself. I've been down this road before, and I know when you push it, if you have the opportunity to rest, you have to rest with this kind of injury. So feeling the way I did today, definitely was the right decision.”
An experienced Kerr, in her 24th LPGA Tour season, said despite the challenges, she knows what it takes to win. Being complacent due to poor health is not an excuse, says the 43-year-old.
“I need to hit it a little bit better. I know I scored well today,” said Kerr. “I got up and down a lot, chipped in for par once. But I need to hit it better and keep putting and chipping the way that I'm doing.”