Having represented Team USA nine times, Juli Inkster is the American record holder for most appearances in the Solheim Cup. She could soon share that record with Cristie Kerr, who finished in the top 20 in her first LPGA tournament of 2017, the Honda LPGA Thailand.
If the Solheim Cup teams were announced today, Kerr, currently ninth in the point rankings, would be a member of Team USA for the ninth time. It would be another record for the LPGA's all-time American money winner, who has earned more than $17.7 million during her 20 years on the tour.
In her career, Kerr has won 18 tournaments, including two majors: the 2007 U.S. Women's Open and the 2010 LPGA Championship presented by Wegmans. She finished in the top 10 in four tournaments in 2016: the LPGA KEB HanaBank Championship; the Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship, the U.S Women's Open; and the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout.
Kerr is a testament to courage and resilience. She began playing golf at age eight. As a freshman at Miami's Sunset High School, Kerr won a spot on the boy’s golf team. She accomplished this feat in spite of considerable opposition from her teammates and a threatened lawsuit. She credits her parents and a supportive high school coach for helping her get through the challenge.
As an LPGA veteran, Kerr has drawn inspiration from Inkster, who captained Team USA in the 2015 Solheim Cup and will do so again this year.
"Juli's always been one of my idols and she's always pushed me to get better," Kerr said in a July 2016 interview published on espnw.com. "Playing for her in the Solheim Cup was such an inspiring experience. It depends on how healthy you stay, your love for the game, your work ethic. I want to play as long as I have a passion for the game. The golf ball doesn't know an age."