Kerr leads in Tucson

Christie Kerr leads a strong field at the Welch/Circle K Championships

Fri, 10 Mar 2000

Four-year LPGA Tour veteran Cristie Kerr took the Randolph North Golf Course by storm, with two-eagles and six birdies to tie her career-best record of 64, during the first round of the Welch's Circle K Championship.

Kerr, who is looking to take home her share of the $700,000 purse, striped the early lead away from 1999 Rolex Rookie of the Year Mi Hyun Kim who finished the day at six-under-par 66.

Kerr, who is leading for the first time since the second-round of the 1999 McDonald's Championship, shot eight-under-par 64 and found success in a new set of irons that arrived in the morning just before her tee time. Her new PING I 3 Blades, which she tried out during the practice round on Tuesday, arrived at about 11 o'clock this morning. When asked about the switch Kerr noted that she was in need of a change.

"I switched after I noticed that my distance control was fairly hard with my Callaways," said Kerr. "I wanted to find consistency and overall lower my scores."

Her round included two eagles on the par five 493-yard third hole and on the par four 329-yard ninth hole.

"It was one of those great rounds," said Kerr. "It reminded me of the second round at McDonald's, but it was still one of those great rounds."

So far this season, Kerr has accumulated one top ten finish in her five starts at the Subaru Memorial of Naples and a tie for 20th at the Australian Ladies Masters. After joining the LPGA right out of High School, Kerr acknowledges that the comfort level in her game has improved and she is having a lot more fun on the course.

Trailing right behind Kerr at six-under-par is Korea's Mi Hyun Kim who fired a 67 to take and early lead in the event. Kim carded eight birdies and two bogeys on the day and attributed her round to solid putting and more confidence in her game.

"Last year, in my rookie year everything was so new including the language, culture and people," comments Kim. "Now this year I am much more comfortable with the courses and my game in general."

Rounding out the leader board at five-under-par is 14-year Tour veteran Kristi Albers, who ended her round with three solid birdies, two-time LPGA Rolex Player of the Year Annika Sorenstam who continues to play consistent after her second place finish at the Takefuji Classic and Fiona Pike whose late 18th hole birdie put her into the three way tie for third.

For full results and statistics, click on the LPGA Tour website on but don't forget to come back will you!



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