With her win today at Kingsmill Golf Resort, Cristie Kerr became the first two-time Michelob Ultra Open Champion.
I watched the tournament with a crowd at the restaurant where I had brunch today. I'd coaxed them away from the Yankees and the PGA, which was a challenge, but once they started watching they were hooked. It never fails to happen with LPGA tournaments.
Then, at the 15th hole, after being locked in a tenuous four-way tie for much of the final round, Cristie had to do... what she had to do. And it was something she hadn't done in the first three rounds: she had to go for the green... with her three wood, from the fairway of that par-5 hole. Her ball landed on the green and rolled to the fringe. Then with a two-putt for birdie she took the lead.
Typically, I had to get into my car at that very moment, for the twenty-minute drive back home. So, resisting the temptation to text at the wheel, I pulled over twice on the way for updates, the second of which revealed that Cristie had won the tournament.
Having spent time with Cristie Kerr and witnessed, firsthand, her dedication to golf...the way she applies herself relentlessly to the game, the competition, and all that goes along with it... made her win today resonate with me in a very special way.
With Cristie, over the course of a few days I saw some of what goes into being a champion, and it was much more than I had ever imagined.
*(AP Photo/Steve Helber)