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August 17, 2007

Juli Inkster


THE MODERATOR: Thank you all for joining us. We have LPGA Tour and World Golf Hall of Famer Juli Inkster in here. You had a pretty good round. You're 5-under today and you're definitely near the top of the leaderboard. Just talk about how you're feeling.
JULI INKSTER: You know, I played very good yesterday. And today I played good, also. I bogeyed my second hole, which I think my daughter could have got it up-and-down from where I hit it. But then after that I just kind of stuck with it and made a good long birdie putt on 18 that kind of got me going for the front side. So I played well.
THE MODERATOR: Can we go over your scorecard?
JULI INKSTER: Sure. 11, I hit a good 4-iron in there just over the green and made a bad chip and missed about a four-footer for par, so I made bogey there.
13, I hit a good drive, a little pitching wedge in there about four feet, made that for birdie.
14, par 5, hit sand wedge, laid up, hit a good drive, laid up, and then hit sand wedge in there about 12 feet, made that for birdie.
And then 18, the pin was up on the right edge and I was down the left and a big old putt, had to be 50 feet, and made that for birdie.

Q. How far were you to get --
JULI INKSTER: I only had an 8-iron, I just pulled it.
And then on 1, I hit sand wedge in there about 15 feet, made that for birdie.
No. 3, I hit a little 9-iron in there about four feet, made that for birdie.
6, sand wedge in there about five feet, made that for birdie.
That was it.
I hit some good short irons in there today. I drove the ball well, which is what you have to do out here. You've got to play the ball from the fairway because the rough -- you can get some good lies in the rough, but you get some gnarly lies, and depending on where they put the pins, you just don't want to be coming in from the rough.

Q. We saw you coming off 18, would have been your front nine, and you seemed to be really enjoying yourself. I saw you interacting with Ray Whitney, really loose, that sort of thing. Talk about the round, and when is the last time you've been in this position going into the weekend?
JULI INKSTER: Well, Evian I had a two-shot lead, which was three weeks ago, going into the last round, and I didn't play very well.
But yeah, I'm playing well. I'm just trying to enjoy myself. I'm staying with Ray, so he keeps you kind of loose, just the hockey mentality. So it's been kind of fun. I'm just kind of out here trying to win every week, and unfortunately Lorena is doing that, not me. I'm just trying to sneak one in there here and there.

Q. You've done pretty much everything there is to do in golf. Do you still get as excited about 50-footers?
JULI INKSTER: Yeah, I do. I mean, shoot, I get excited about five-footers at my age.
You know, I really love the game. Everybody asks me why I play. I play because I love the game. I played with Birdie Kim today, and she asked me when I was born, and I said 1960, and she said, "Oh, you're my mom's age. My mom was born in 1960." But it's fun being out here with the younger players and stuff. I think it keeps you young, keeps you going, keeps you motivated.

Q. Because of all the young players out here, do you almost kind of slip under the radar when you come out here?
JULI INKSTER: Oh, yeah, every week I'm under the radar. But you know what, the young kids are great for our Tour, the Paulas and the Morgans and the Natalies and the Brittany Lincicomes. They've got a lot of heart and it's cool and it brings more fans out.

Q. Would you define what your definition is of a hockey mentality, and can you tell us how you got hooked up with Ray Whitney as your friend and all that?
JULI INKSTER: Okay. I've known Ray since I was pregnant with Cori, so that's 13 years ago. He was playing for the Sharks, San Jose, and we did a celebrity luncheon. Ray and I just kind of hit it off. We've played a lot of golf together. He's stayed at our house, I've stayed at his house. I've watched him play many years, ups and downs in hockey.
His mentality is just kind of don't let anybody get in your way and go for it and take no prisoners. He was asking me to cross-check a few people, but I decided I'd better not do that. His wife, Brijet, too, is a good friend of ours, so it's been really nice. I have my kids with me, so we're staying out at the fort and driving in.

Q. Just heading into the weekend, do you start kind of scoreboard watching here to determine whether you have to be aggressive or kind of lay up --
JULI INKSTER: This is the kind of golf course, you've just got to play it. Maybe a couple par 5s you can maybe get in a proper spot and go for it. But this is the type of golf course you've just got to play to this area and take it from there. That's kind of what I've done for two days, and I can't foresee myself changing that much.
36 holes is a lot of golf, and I'm just trying to get a little better each day, and that would be very good.

Q. I know we hit on that 50-foot putt already, but when you were walking up it to, there was so much movement. Did you think you had a chance?
JULI INKSTER: Well, like I told the person out there, it was a birdie putt at St. Andrews, so I felt pretty good going into it. Yeah, I was just trying to get it up there two to three, four feet, because it probably broke, I don't know, five, six feet. Once I kind of got it up the hill, my caddie was tending it, and when he gets excited I know it's good. So he got excited about four or five feet from the hole, and then it plopped right in. You don't expect those, but it's nice to have them.

Q. What's the mindset of people at the top of the board when Lorena is in up there and she's making a charge? Does she have that Tiger mystique yet?
JULI INKSTER: Well, yeah. Even if she's 1-under par one day, the next day she's 6-, 7-under. She's just a great player. You know, I even hate to tell you this, she's probably a nicer person than she is a player, so it's a good quality.
She's got the momentum going right now. She's on fire. She's kind of like the way Annika was three or four years ago when we knew coming in you were going to have to have your "A" game to compete with her.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Juli, great round.
JULI INKSTER: Thank you.

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