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August 20, 2019

Juli Inkster

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

THE MODERATOR: We are back here in the CP Women's Open media center with Juli Inkster, the 1984 champion. Juli, dare I say the 35th anniversary of your win. Welcome back.

JULI INKSTER: Thank you. I'm still alive. It's great.

THE MODERATOR: 35 years later it's got to be a trip of an experience to come back to an event when you won it 35 years ago.

JULI INKSTER: It is. This tournament was the Maurier when I won it, but this tournament has always been run first class. The people of Canada, I know they're huge hockey fans, but also golf fans. It's great to play for them. They had Lorie Kane and now Brooke, two pretty good players coming from Canada.

THE MODERATOR: What was that the experience like in 1984 when you won? It was certainly the major, and still a major here in Canada; not officially on the LPGA Tour. How have you seen the tournament grow and maybe the LPGA grow from that time to today?

JULI INKSTER: It was at Royal St. George's, which is a great golf course. I won the Dinah Shore that year and was a rookie. I played five tournaments in '83, but rookie year was '84.

I remember the 17th hole. It's funny. It is a par-3 and I shanked it out of bounds, and then I hit it on and made the putt for bogey. I think that was on Saturday. I don't know. Just kind of spearheaded me to win.

But now our tour is so diversified. We have players from all over the world playing. The golf is definitely off the charts as far as how they play. They're all athletes. They're in great shape. They travel around the world to play.

Canada was the only time we really played outside the country. I think we had one tournament in Japan for a team thing, but other than that...

So it's changed quite a bit.

THE MODERATOR: You said you're still getting ready to get out and see the golf course. What have you heard about this place? Everything I am seeing looks like some wide fairways and beautiful greens.

JULI INKSTER: If it's anything like the food in the clubhouse it's going to be awesome. I hear it's a great golf course; in really good shape; fairways are plush. Kind of right our in front of you. What you see is what you get. Not really tricked up. So I'm looking forward to getting out there.

The MODERATOR: You're here in a dual role this week. You've got a big decision to make this weekend. How do you balance that between the competitor in you still going out there to play, but also got to go out and watch?

JULI INKSTER: Yeah, I've watched enough. I don't want to watch anymore. It's going to be hard. This year is really hard. It's almost like I wish I had zero picks. Two is going to be tough.

I got a young team, a lot of rookies, but they got a lot of fire in their belly, and that's what I like to see. They're very excited to go over there and play. I got my core group that have been on the team, so it's going to be hard. Sunday is going to be really hard. I've been not sleeping great just because I'm trying to figure out what's best for the team.

Really there is so much up for grabs on Sunday. I really have to just wait and see how it plays out before I can think about who I'm going to pick.

THE MODERATOR: Still got players who can play their way in for Solheim Cup points, still Rolex Rankings. How do you sit back? It's got to be tough to think, I can't control this.

JULI INKSTER: I can't. I have no control. They've had two years to make the team. I mean, I just have to sit back. Really my job is to take the next two best players that are playing the best that can help the team win over in Scotland. It's going to be very tough. Catriona has a very veteran, strong team. We're playing away, which is really hard.

We're probably definitely - even though we won the last two - the underdogs. But we got nothing to lose if we can go over there and give it our best shot and see what happens.

THE MODERATOR: How do you scout Team Europe?

JULI INKSTER: They're strong. They got a lot of pieces to the puzzle. Long hitters, great putters. The golf course I think is more of a second-shot golf course. So they have some good iron players, but -- and they got a lot of veterans, people that have been there. It won't being a big stage for them. They're used to it.

So we're going to have to play our best to bring that trophy back over.

THE MODERATOR: Open it up for any questions.

Q. Are you still a San Jose Sharks fan?
JULI INKSTER: Yeah, yeah.

Q. How do you think they'll do this year?
JULI INKSTER: Well, we lost Pavelski. Really depends how our goalie, Martin Jones, he had not a great year. We need him to have a great year. We signed Erik Karlsson. I think that's going to be good. Signed Jumbo again, and he makes everybody better.

We haven't won the big one yet, so I'm still waiting.

Q. Okay. I think that classifies you as a fan. Were you surprised at any of the picks made by the other side?
JULI INKSTER: Not really. I kind of had an inkling that she was going to pick Suzann just from talking and listening. You know, I think she had to take Celine Boutier and Bronte Law. Both had great years, both playing well. Jodi, solid ball-striker, good team player. Then I think her last one was, why not? I mean, Suzann is a competitor. She's feisty and she stirs up the pot a little bit. Kind of need one of those on your team.

Q. I remember when you were playing Solheim Cup you had the infamous Dottie Pepper with you. Going into your picks now, are you looking for any leadership? You mention the leadership of the European team, people that have been there in the past. Are you looking for the same thing?
JULI INKSTER: Yeah, I mean, if I can get someone that's playing well and a leadership, that's a bonus. You know, there is really a lot that goes into these picks. It's not just someone I sit around and put in a hat. I mean, how can I pair them? Who do they pair really well with? What kind of person are they in the locker room? What kind of teammate are they?

So there is a lot that goes into it. So, yeah, I'm just kind of waiting to see someone really step up. I hate to come down to the last tournament, but it's pretty much coming down to the last tournament. (Laughter.)

THE MODERATOR: That's what it's there for. Anything further for Juli?

Q. I don't know how you feel, but I feel like you're at disadvantage that Catriona gets four picks and you get two, especially this year. Don't you have some kind of power that you can change that rule, and have you tried to?
JULI INKSTER: Well, I agree with you. I think next year I would bring up maybe just have seven and give us three picks. Two picks really don't do much for me. If I had four picks it would be great. I do think we need one more pick in there.

I'll definitely bring that up.

THE MODERATOR: Anything else for Juli? All right. Thanks so much.

JULI INKSTER: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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