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July 13, 2018

Juli Inkster

Chicago, Illinois

JULI INKSTER: I made a lot of four- and five-footers for par, kind of kept me in there. So I was really kind of happy with my round yesterday. Today I hit the ball a lot better, hit a lot of great drives. Sometimes I got too far up and had some little short shots, and I didn't really take advantage of that. So I played kind of sloppy on that -- like 13, I hit it over the green on 13 and made bogey. I had 43 yards on 14 and made bogey. And 15 I had 60 yards and missed the green. That was not a very good display of short game work.

But then I birdied three in a row, and I actually played well today, just the greens were tough. You get above the hole or on the side of the hole, you've got to play defensive.

Q. Can you just talk a little bit, obviously yesterday JoAnne shot her age --
JULI INKSTER: I know, you look at JoAnne Carner shooting her age and you look at Miss P, Sandra Palmer, if you were to watch her on the range, she's got such a beautiful swing. I just think it's -- I mean, they should be -- JoAnne Carner should be on a statue, for what she's done for golf and how she played yesterday, it's impressive. I mean, that's all I could talk about last night. My kids called and I said, can you believe JoAnne Carner shot 79, she shot her age and she birdied the last hole to shoot her age. I just think it's so impressive.

Q. Why do you think you play so well in USGA events? What is it about the way it's set up?
JULI INKSTER: Yeah, the way it's set up. I mean, even though this course is only, what, 6,000 yards and it's probably playing shorter than that, the greens are tough. You're hitting short shots off really hard pan. When you get a little older, that hard pan gets harder. It's tough. Three- and four-footers are not easy. We played in the afternoon. They still rolled great, but you get a little more spike marks and stuff.

Getting the ball close is hard. I mean, you just look at No. 1 today, I think 1 is a good pin placement, and it's just hard to get close. It's almost easier to roll it up there than it is to fly it there.

Q. Does it get your attention more when it's set up like that?
JULI INKSTER: Yeah, definitely, because you've got to hit it at a certain spot, and I've really always been pretty bad at that. I kind of -- I like to go pin seeking, and here you've got to really -- you're better off being 15, 18 feet below the hole than five or six above the hole.

Q. You were mentioning some of those in-between shots. Did that make it that much harder to keep it below the hole because you were facing those in-betweeners?
JULI INKSTER: Yeah, and I just didn't hit them very well. They were just right there. I hit it over the green on that 14th hole, and it plugged in the back bunker, so I make bogey with 45 yards to the green. That's not good. No bueno.

Q. Do weekend nerves feel the same now as they ever did?
JULI INKSTER: Yeah. I mean, I think everybody will be nervous tomorrow. Everybody wants to win this trophy. I mean, it's been on our mind for -- when the USGA announced it. They all want to win it, and I think being the inaugural and seeing Carner and Alcott and Bradley and Miss P out there supporting this, they didn't have to play. They wanted to play, and they wanted to support the Senior Open. I think everybody wants to win this trophy, so everybody is going to be trying really hard.

Q. With that being said, you've accomplished so much in your career; where would something like that rank?
JULI INKSTER: Well, in this decade, it would rank No. 1, right behind the Giants winning the World Series. It would rank very high up there. I mean, Trish Johnson, and Laura is playing great. She's probably one of our best wedge players out here, and she's playing very well, so she's going to be tough to beat.

Q. You played in a high-profile grouping both days, nice galleries watching you. How much have you enjoyed having the fans walking the fairways with you?
JULI INKSTER: I think it's great. I think it's a great idea. You know, I think it's great for the fans to get an up-close and personal look. I apologize for all of Laura's swearing out there. But no, I think it's a great idea. I think the fans really like it. My husband has been out there, and he's heard a lot of positive comments like if we could do this every week, I'd watch anybody play. I think it's great.

You know, I think they're impressed with how we play and how we hit the ball, and I think it's great for women's golf.

Q. The whole group of Betsy King, Amy Alcott and Pat Bradley all made the cut, Hollis Stacy. Can you talk about having these legends being around for the weekend, especially with TV only being on the weekend and how impressive that is?
JULI INKSTER: Yeah, I mean, again, I think it says a lot to them that they want to come out and support it. You just listen to Pat Bradley, she had this marked on her calendar for four years. Mike Davis said we've been thinking about this for over 20 years. Well, I think 20 years ago would have probably been a perfect time. You'd get the Patty Sheehans and the Beth Daniels and the Meg Mallons. I just think a lot of these great players deserve the chance to really showcase their wares. Everybody likes to compete. You look at Carner, there's not any give-up in her, no matter if she's 49 or 79. I've played a lot of golf with her in my younger days, and I've learned a lot from her about grinding and never giving up. So I've learned a lot from a lot of them. Hopefully the younger girls out there are learning a little bit from me, too. I like to pass it down, and you've got to respect the game, and they've all really respected the game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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