RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Cristie Kerr’s growing family and wine business raised questions last year about how much she could continue pouring herself into golf.
She’s delivering some feisty answers with her clubs again.
At 41, she doesn’t look as if she’s ready to fade away anytime soon.
With a 2-under-par 70 Thursday at the ANA Inspiration, Kerr is in the early hunt to win her 21st LPGA title and third major championship. She’s two shots off the lead.
“Let’s just call it the mid-point in my career,” Kerr said. “It’s not the end of my career by a long shot. Everybody knows that. I don’t think I have to prove that to anybody.
“I still want to be in contention and win golf tournaments and maybe sneak another major in there.”
It looked as if there was going to be no stopping her even after she turned 40 two seasons ago.
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She won three times around the world that year, once the week before turning 40 and once a couple weeks after.
Kerr looked as if she might get those five points she needs to make it into the LPGA Hall of Fame after all, but she cooled off last season. She logged just two top-10 finishes all year. She slowly started sliding down the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.
There were growing priorities at home, with the birth of Griffin, her second son, in August. Like her first born, Mason, he was born via a surrogate, so Kerr didn’t have to take maternity leave, but there was still a significant change in family life. There was also her expanding wine business, Kerr Cellars, in which she is actively involved.
“It was like a year of anxiety, when is the baby going to come?” Kerr said.
Kerr’s husband, Erik Stevens, helps his wife manage golf and family. They don’t all travel together as much anymore, but Kerr said the boys will be out with Erik at about six events this year.
With the new rhythms of life coming together again, so is Kerr’s game.
She returned to her old coach, Bryan Lebedevitch, last fall.
“Cristie still wants to be a factor out here,” said Lebedevitch said. “She still has that fire.”
It’s showing again this year. Her two top-10 finishes this year equal her total all of last season.