Cristie Kerr talks 'Caddyshack,' Women's PGA Championship

By
Teddy Greenstein
Chicago Tribune

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Friday, June 23, 2017 | 10:32 a.m.

Fortunately for all of us, Cristie Kerr swings better than she sings.

Her rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch Tuesday night at Wrigley Field could have peeled the paint off your garage.

"Her enthusiasm was high, I will say that," lifelong Cubs fan and NBC/Golf Channel analyst Mark Rolfing said. "The fans started singing louder and louder so they could drown her out, I think."

Those same fans will get a chance to see Kerr and the LPGA Tour's best at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship. The four-day major championship begins Thursday at south suburban Olympia Fields Country Club.

The Tribune chatted with the 19-time LPGA Tour winner (two majors), breast cancer activist and wine aficionado (kerrcellars.com) before Tuesday's screening of "Caddyshack" at Millennium Park. Here are highlights of the conversation:

Chicago Tribune: 'Caddyshack' questions first. What is your dream foursome from the film?

Cristie Kerr: Rodney Dangerfield. I mean, Al Czervik. Ty Webb, definitely. And Danny Noonan. We know Michael O'Keefe (who played Noonan). My husband's known him for a while through the fitness industry. I think he used to train him.

CT: Do you have any go-to lines from the movie?

CK: Of course! In a pro-am you quietly say to yourself or your caddie, "Nice shot, Mrs. Havercamp."

CT: How about, "Well ... we're waiting!"?

CK: Oh, yeah, all the time. I mean, there are so many. ... "Will you come loofah my stretch marks?" ... "I christen thee, The Flying WASP."

CT: So next week you'll be at Olympia Fields, which hosted the men's U.S. Open in 2003. I know you also played Pinehurst after the men's Open in 2014, but is there any significance to that?

CK: Well, I think that the women's game has never been stronger, and I feel like we deserve to play on some of these famous courses.

CT: At the last women's major (the ANA Inspiration), there was a controversy with Lexi Thompson, the four-shot penalty. What was your thought on that?

CK: She did move her ball incorrectly. People have asked me whether I thought it was on purpose. I think it was just careless. And I mean, she had to get penalized, and I definitely think two (shots were) needed. Having to get four shots, though, because they couldn't catch it in time, that's the real issue.

CT: What should be the statute of limitations on a round of golf? Should it be when the player tees off the next day?

CK: Yeah, if not, is somebody going to call in and try to take the '86 Masters away from Jack (Nicklaus)? It doesn't work. I know Lexi very well. It was completely innocent. And she won a lot of respect from people with the way she handled it.

CT: The next major, the U.S. Women's Open, will be played at Trump National in Bedminster, N.J. I believe you are a supporter of the president's?

CK: I try not to be political, but I know him and I have supported him in the past. I mean, it's a free country, right?

CT: It certainly is.

CK: I'm a casual acquaintance of the president's. I have played golf with him. I happen to believe that he is going to do some great things for this country.

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CT: Random Chicago connection: Your father, Michael, was drafted by the White Sox?

CK: Or so he says. He's in his 70s now. He got drafted out of high school from Valley Stream in New York. Played third base, had a cannon for an arm. His mom said: "You're not going to make any money as a ballplayer. You're going to college in upstate New York where it snows 60 feet a year."

(Kerr notes the dramatic classical music coming from Pritzker Pavilion.)

CT: Hopefully we'll have as dramatic a finish next week, right?

CK: Hopefully not. Hopefully I win by 20 like Brooks Koepka (laughs).

This article is written by Teddy Greenstein from Chicago Tribune and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.