Cristie Kerr: Consistent Winner on the LPGA Tour

Golfer Cristie Kerr
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Cristie Kerr was the top American golfer on the LPGA Tour for many years in the first decade of the 2000s, and multiple major championship winners are known for her putting and her intense demeanor on the course.

Christie Kerr Biography

Cristie Kerr's journey to the top of the LPGA ranks began as a young phenom, detoured through struggles with confidence and weight, then accelerated through a personal makeover.

Kerr took up golf at age eight, and by 12 she was a 2-handicap. She won the Florida State Junior Girls Championship from 1993-95. Kerr was the American Junior Golf Association player of the year in 1995 following a season in which she won the Women's Western Amateur and the Florida State Women's Championship.

Kerr played on the U.S. Curtis Cup team in 1996 and was low amateur at the U.S. Women's Open. Then, at age 18, she decided to forego college and turn pro.

She split time in '96 between the Futures Tour and Players West Tour, then earned her LPGA Tour card at Q-School.

But in 1997, for the first time, Kerr experienced failure. She had to go back to Q-School, where she regained her card, tying Se Ri Pak for medalist honors.

She earned her first Top 10 in 1998 and made enough to keep her card. But she was struggling personally with family issues and with her first extended period without victories. What some termed a "bratty" attitude earned her few friends on tour, and her weight - she was always a little chubby - ballooned to 185 pounds on her 5-foot-4 frame.

According to Golf For Women magazine, Kerr called herself a "four-eyed fatty." But in 1999, she hired a nutritionist and a strength and fitness coach and undertook an aggressive training regimen. The resulting transformation left her unrecognizable to some who had known her for a long time.

Kerr went from 185 pounds to 125, traded in her glasses and changed her hairstyle from a perm to blonde tresses. Back problems caused by her weight disappeared; her swing improved and she gained yards through better flexibility.

In 2000, she moved up to No. 15 on the money list. Her first victory came in 2002 in wire-to-wire fashion, and she made her first Solheim Cup appearance that year. Then in 2004, she won three times with two runner-up finishes. Kerr won twice in 2005 with six more Top 3 finishes and added another three victories in 2006.

And in 2007, Kerr broke through for her first major championship victory, holding steady down the stretch to win the U.S. Women's Open by two strokes.

Kerr reached another career milestone in 2010: When she won the 2010 LPGA Championship - by a tournament-record 12 strokes - Kerr reached No. 1 in the world rankings for the first time.

In 2003, Kerr's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and Kerr became a spokesperson for Evelyn Lauder's Breast Cancer Research Foundation. She also started the Birdies for Breast Cancer project to raise money for research.

Quick Facts

Date of birth: Oct. 12, 1977

Place of birth: Miami, Florida

LPGA Tour Victories: 20

Major Championships: 2

  • LPGA Championship: 2010
  • U.S. Women's Open: 2007

Awards and Honors:

  • Member, U.S. Solheim Cup team, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017
  • Member, U.S. Curtis Cup team, 1996

Quote, Unquote:

  • Cristie Kerr: "If you're attractive, why not celebrate yourself? ... We have a lot of exciting players out here - stars, personalities. We need to celebrate that."


  • Cristie Kerr appeared in a 2005 episode of The Apprentice television series with Donald Trump, whom she calls a friend.