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June 30, 2005

Juli Inkster


PAUL ROVNAK: Congratulations on winning your match. Tell us a bit about your day.

JULI INKSTER: Kind of an up and down day. I thought I played well. I birdied No. 2 to go 1 up. I think I had about a 2 footer.

No. 3, I was in there about ten feet and she ended up making bogey, so I won that hole.

No. 4, I hit 8 iron in there about three feet and made that for birdie. I hit sand wedge in about 15 feet and made that for birdie. So I'm cruising, cruising right now.

Then we had a long wait on No. 6 in the fairway. I hit my second shot fat and ended up making bogey. She made par, so go back to 3 up.

Then hit it close on 7 and 8, didn't get it to the hole. Left my putts short.

9 she birdied. 11, she birdied. And then 12 and 13, I bogeyed. So now I'm 1 down.

Then I hit the green in two on 14 and made birdie.

Then I hit 8 iron about 18 feet and made birdie on 15.

16, I hit 5 iron about 15 fee feet and made that for birdie.

17, I hit 7 iron about two feet and made that for birdie.

So overall I thought I played very well. Match play, it's tough. It's just momentum and I had it going and then I kind of lost it and then I got back on a good roll coming in.

Q. How much does your past experience on match play, how much did that come into play, especially since you got up early and then kind of giving it back a little bit?

JULI INKSTER: Well, I didn't really panic because I was playing well. Even though I had two bogeys, I still felt like I was swinging well. I knew I was going to get some chances coming in.

You know, you never like to you want to keep the pedal down when you get to 4 up; you want to keep going. I knew that bogey on No. 6 was just, I mean, even though I was still 3 up, it was a bad bogey. I mean, right in the middle of the fairway and I make bogey. So I wasn't happy with that.

Then she just kind of chipped away and I couldn't get a putt to the hole. I left so many putts short out there, which I'm going to have to work on this afternoon.

Q. Were the greens slow today?

JULI INKSTER: Last week the greens were fast at the Open, and this week, I didn't play in the Pro Am yesterday because it got rained out. They are very smooth but they are slow. They have just got a lot of water on them and it's just hard to get the ball in the hole. I mean, they look fast. You're over the putt, they are fast, but they are not really.

Q. Are you are surprised that in the morning there are three upsets, No. 5, 6 and 7 lost; in this type of format, are you surprised to see that?

JULI INKSTER: Match play, it's completely different to medal play. You can get someone that just has a hot day. If you were to play them nine out of ten times, you would probably beat them nine out of ten times. If you played ten times, you'd beat them nine out of ten. And match play, anybody can get hot at any time. That's the beauty of it, even though you're a No. 1 seed playing the 64 seed, it's out there. I mean, an upset is out there. That's why it messes with your emotions.

Q. How well does this golf course set up for match play? Are a lot of risk/reward opportunities out there to play aggressively?

JULI INKSTER: Yeah, it's so wet out there, your ball is not getting any roll. The fairways are pretty generous. I think the par 5s are good. I like the way they set up the par 3s are good. It's a good golf course.

Q. Could you talk about the recent play of Birdie Kim and what her story does for women's golf?

JULI INKSTER: You know, it's a great story, I mean, coming from out of nowhere to win. I think just with the young players, the Michelle Wies and the Morgan Pressels and Brittany Laing, I think they just showed that, you know, golf right now, American golf is in good shape and has got a lot of good young players coming up. I mean, Birdie Kim could probably put that ball down there a hundred times and not roll it in the hole, but you know what, that's golf. I think it's great for the fans and the viewers.

Q. Do you know anything about tomorrow's opponent, Ai Miyazato?

JULI INKSTER: No. I know she's a great player. To beat Laura Diaz, she probably had to play pretty well. Laura has been playing well. You know what, I've just got to go out there and play my own game and give myself some chances for birdies. You know, I don't know, I don't know what would happen.

Well, she's kind of the next coming since Aiko over in Japan and she seems like a very nice girl. She's got a great smile. She speaks pretty good English. I've just got to go out there and try to play my own game.

Q. With all of these great young players on the horizon, you're someone that's always accepted challenges, and you're one of the women that over the years has stood up and welcomed challenges. As a statesman for the game, women's golf, how do you view this; there's a lot of them.

JULI INKSTER: All I know is I'm glad I'm at the tail end of my career and not just starting. It's a different era. When I was growing up, we played a lot of golf but we just kind of played.

Now all of these girls have coaches 24/7, they have video equipment, they have all the modern technology, everybody does stuff, and they all just have beautiful swings, no little hitches in their giddy yups. You know, they are born to play golf.

Q. How many of them realize you won three consecutive U.S. Women's Amateurs?

JULI INKSTER: Probably half of them don't even know who I am. (Laughing). Probably none of them, but that's okay, I know I did it.

Q. This type of setup, do you find yourself looking at the score board?

JULI INKSTER: Not really because it's just I know who I have to play. When I get done, I'll go check it out and see what's happening out there. I had my hands full today. I was focusing on who I was playing.

Q. I think you're 4 & 1 in Solheim Cup singles.


Q. Is there a trick to this?

JULI INKSTER: No, there's no trick. You've just got to be playing good at the right time and making the right putts at the right time. You know, match play, everybody thinks the dominant player should win all the time. It just doesn't happen.

Q. In the college basketball tournaments, some of the teams say the first two rounds are the toughest; do you kind of get that feeling?

JULI INKSTER: Exactly. I think you get on a little bit of momentum, especially for the top seeds, because they are expected to win and it's just a little, you know, a little more pressure on them. You know what, it's not like there's 144 players here; there's 64, 64 of the best players. So even though there's probably a big difference between 1 and 64 on the Money List, as far as golf, there's probably not that much difference.

Q. What's the effect of playing an event like this immediately after the U.S. Open?

JULI INKSTER: It's tough, because last week mentally was just a grind. I was kind of hoping you know, we had the LPGA Championship, then Rochester. I took Rochester off, and then you have the U.S. Open and then you have this tournament. These are three pretty big tournaments in a row. So mentally, it's tough, it wears on you.

Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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