LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England (AP) — Cristie Kerr heads into the Women’s British Open this week looking for redemption after a final-round collapse cost her the U.S. Women’s Open title last month.
The American took a two-shot lead into the final day at Saucon Valley but faded with a succession of bogeys in a round of 75 and finished in a tie for third. Eun-Hee Ji, of South Korea, took advantage of Kerr’s stumble to take the title.
“Yes, I should have won it,” Kerr said Wednesday. “But I didn’t play well enough on Sunday to win. Yes, it was difficult. But you move on and you get over it.”
In 2007, Kerr won the U.S. Women’s Open. This year, the third-ranked player won the Michelob Ultra Open along with four other top-five finishes. She also leads the LPGA money list.
“Yes, I’ve had a great year so far,” said Kerr, who tied for second when this event was last played over the Royal Lytham and St. Annes course in 2006.
“I like links golf very much. This is one of my favorite layouts. I have played here three or four times before,” she said.
Fellow American Paula Creamer’s push up the rankings has stalled this year after a sour stomach and thumb injury knocked her out of two events.
She returned for the U.S. Open and finished sixth, then finished tied for fifth in last week’s Evian Masters in France.
“I’m starting to play really well now. I’m hitting the ball great and I have a lot of confidence with my putter,” she said.
The fifth-ranked player said her goal is to move up in the rankings.
“I have to be able to play some good golf to move up,” she said, adding that the injuries have taken their toll.
“It has been very hard emotionally and physically. I want to play and be in contention every week and it’s very hard to withdraw. But I had to do it for my career in the long run.”
Michelle Wie’s career has had its ups and downs, most recently because of a wrist injury sustained in 2007.
Wie says she has fully recovered, but has yet to win on the LPGA Tour in her first full season. This will be her last chance to stake a claim for a place on the U.S. Solheim Cup team, which faces Europe from Aug. 21-23 in Sugar Grove, Ill.
“I think a win would make my life a lot better. I would love to play. It would be the greatest honor,” she said.
The role of favorite probably falls on defending champion Jiyai Shin, the South Korean who has also won four times since.
Second-ranked Yani Tseng of Taiwan is another player likely to contend, along with Ai Miyazato of Japan, winner of the Evian Masters.