If the Solheim Cup is a war, then beware Cristie Kerr, who is
sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps. Kerr, 24, will be making her
Solheim debut next week at Interlachen Country Club in Edina,
Minn., and she could be the U.S. squad's secret weapon.
SI: How excited are you about representing your country in the
CK: There isn't anyone more patriotic than me.
SI: How did you get the deal with the Marines?
CK: My boyfriend, Robb Sucher, is a captain in the corps and was
an aide to Gen. Joseph Weber, who was in charge of the camp at
29 Palms, Calif. We were playing golf, and the general was
joking that the Marines sponsor a NASCAR driver [Bobby Hamilton
Jr.] and they should sponsor me, too. The next thing I know, he
calls someone in Quantico, Va., and I now proudly display the
Marines' lettering on my bag.
SI: Do you have a thing for guys in uniform?
CK: Yeah, my dad was a sergeant in the Army, and I love him to
SI: How does Sgt. Kerr feel about your dating a jarhead?
CK: My dad and Robb get along great. My sister is married to a
Green Beret--those guys are nuts. I guess I have military in my
SI: We hear you and Robb live in military housing at 29 Palms.
That's not exactly country club living, is it?
CK: No, our apartment isn't very big, but it's home. I like it.
The only bad part is that we don't have air conditioning, because
the apartment's electrical wiring won't support it. And it gets
pretty hot in the Palm Springs area. We do have a swamp cooler,
which is like a window fan.
SI: Considering everything the country has been through, what's
the last year been like for the girlfriend of a Marine?
CK: I've learned that life is too short. I also have a greater
appreciation for the men and women who sacrifice their lives to
make us safe. The military is like a family, and they hold a
special place in my heart.
COLOR PHOTO: DAVE CRENSHAW THE PROUD Kerr carries the flag for the U.S. Marine Corps.