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May 4, 2008

Juli Inkster


MIKE SCANLAN: All right, Juli. Kind of bittersweet to see your friend JULI INKSTER ^ win there at the end. Your second playoff in a row here at Cedar Ridge. Can you just talk a little bit about how you are feeling.
JULI INKSTER: Hopefully, third time's a charm. So hopefully next week will be better.
But you know what, I played good today. I hit the ball so much better today. I just didn't feel comfortable with my putter.
You know, Paula missed some putts out there. I just knew it was just a matter of time before she made one. Had the exact same putt for birdie on the 10th hole today, and I just knew she would roll that in.
So, um, you know, it's disappointing because I played definitely good enough to win. And, you know, you just -- I don't know kind of disappointing.

Q. Did you find yourself wanting it too bad; you wanted it too much?
JULI INKSTER: It's kind of a fine line. I did want it bad, but I tried not to feel that way out there. I was just trying to let it come to me. I was trying to be patient. But when you just keep missing putts after putt it kind of wears on you.
You know, I putted so good for the first three days that it's funny, you just wake up and feel like you got a two by four in your hand instead of a putter.
But you know what, I hung in there, I made a nice putt on the last hole just to have her have to make it. And, um, you know, she did what she had to do. She had two good-iron shots on the playoff holes and made birdie on one of them.

Q. I mean, it's never over, but walking up 18, 2 shots behind, talk about going from there and then going to the playoff?
JULI INKSTER: Yeah, I mean, I plotted along all day and just felt like, you know, when I saw her hit her shot and I knew it was long, I was there last year and it's not an easy up and down. I hit a good-iron shot in there. Hadn't made a putt all day so I was like, well, you know, you never know. When it went in -- that was a tough putt. I think it was a double-breaker. If she made that, hats off to her. So, you know, it was great to at least force a playoff and make her work a little bit.
But, you know, the front nine's the one I had loads of opportunities to win.

Q. You accomplished so much when you were young and today you almost became the oldest champion. How gratifying is it to know you're still competitive for so long?
JULI INKSTER: Honestly, not that gratifying. (Laughing). Just to be honest with you. I mean, you know, I just don't feel my age, I guess. I mean everybody makes a big deal out of it, but, you know, I just don't the feel -- I mean, even though 47's not that the old, you know, I just feel like I compete out here no problem. It's just a different time in my life where, you know, golf is not my number one priority. But you know it's still -- when I'm between the ropes it's my priority.
So it's gratifying to still be able to play out here and compete, but I wouldn't be out here if I didn't think I could compete.

Q. Anyone ever told you you don't act your age ever?
JULI INKSTER: Yeah, my kids say that all the time.

Q. Just curious, with really the heart of the season coming up, the three majors in a quick span --
JULI INKSTER: Two for me.

Q. I'm sorry. I should have known better. Are you at all encouraged by the way you're playing, or is there part of you that's still frustrated?
JULI INKSTER: I'm encouraged by the way I'm playing, but I'm frustrated that I just-- I mean, I don't know, just didn't seem like me out there today. I just didn't feel -- it's hard to explain. I just couldn't get a feel for the putting. And usually, you know, maybe takes me one or two holes to settle in and then I'm kind of off and running. And, you know, I just never really felt settled with my putter and that was kind of frustrating.
So I guess maybe just seeing some more putts go in and seeing that, you know -- I don't know. It seems like I've been doing this forever, I should know how to do it.
It's just a funny game. It's just a fine line from, you know, winning and losing. And today it was putting.
But you know what, if I didn't putt like I putted the first three days I wouldn't even have had a chance. So I don't know.

Q. With the conditions out there today being so much better did you think there was a chance somebody in the top ten might throw a 65 or 66 out there?
JULI INKSTER: I was just telling Doug amazing how high the scores were. I thought someone would shoot a 67, 66 out there today. I mean, it was out there.
But you know what, it's tough golf course. The greens are tough. The fairways are tough to hit. You got to play your way around it. And, you know, it's just like one bad swing on Number 8 today when I hit the hazard, and I make bogey. It was a good bogey. You just got to-- I hate to say it, but it's golf course you just got to plot away on it.

Q. Juli, can you tell us your thoughts on this event now that it's been moved to four days and now that the tournament is over for everyone. Do you like the way that this tournament now is set up with the four-day event?
JULI INKSTER: Yeah, I think any golf tournament should be four days. I just think -- I don't know, four days, you know, everybody has -- you can have an even par or 1-under round or 1-over round and still win.
Three-round tournaments too much emphasis is on the first round getting out of the blocks. So I think a four-day tournament really, you know, that's the way it should be.
SemGroup, they've made this a great championship. They've done a first-class job. And the golf course goes along. It's great golf course.

Q. Now that they've moved it to the spring 3-under won it last year in 54 holes, 2-under won it in 72 holes. Do you like this challenge, you know, other than where it's got to be a birdiefest?
JULI INKSTER: Just like today-- I mean, it's like I don't know what the low score was but, you know, there was hardly any wind out there today and nobody tore it up. So, you know, I like throwing a little wind out there. I just think it, you know, makes for good golf. You got to hit some good shots. You got to play the golf course.
You know, I think it blows all the time here. I don't think it really matters when you move it, personally.

Q. You mentioned the swing on 8. You just came off a two-shot swing on 7 catching up. How much did that halt your momentum?
JULI INKSTER: I mean, you know, you look at 5 and 6 -- I mean, it's just give me birdies. I make a par and a bogey and, you know, I made a good shot in there on 7. Eight I probably should have hit a 3-wood off the tee. But, you know, i was hitting my driver so good I just decided to just stick with it. And, you know, I just overcooked it a little bit, you know.
It hurt but I still-- I mean, I was playing well. Still only I think I was right where I started, two shots back.

Q. (No microphone.)
JULI INKSTER: I don't know if it gave me momentum. I mean I felt good about the putt. It barely went in. It was not moving very quick. But, you know, I had a pretty good read out and I finally got one started on line.
And, you know, Paula had a tough putt. That was a tough putt for par.
I felt pretty good about the playoff. I mean, I didn't hit my best irons, but I hit some good putts and it didn't go in.

Q. (No microphone.)
JULI INKSTER: Well, if you don't, you're in the wrong business. So, you know, it's nice to have an opportunity to get in the playoff and able to come through and do it. So, you know, I enjoy it. I wish the outcome was different. But, you know, it was fun. It was good golf, good TV.

Q. (No microphone.)
JULI INKSTER: I don't care. (Laughing) I don't care at all. No, just kidding. Paula's a great player. And she's going to win lots of tournaments. She works hard at her game and she is great for the tour. So, you know, I am glad she won. But I wish it was me, and vice versa if she was sitting up here right now. Thank you.

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