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May 9, 2004

Juli Inkster


PAUL ROVNAK: Thanks for coming in and talking with us.


PAUL ROVNAK: 7-under right now. Looks like second place, maybe, unless something happens to Se Ri out there. But tell us about your day then we'll take questions from there.

JULI INKSTER: Basically I played -- hit the ball a lot better today. Had a lot of opportunities. 8, 9 kind of hurt me. I am right in the middle of the fairway and I push two irons and make bogeys on those holes. But I came back and made a good birdie on 10, and I just hit a few more fairways today and I hit a lot of good irons and made some good putts.

PAUL ROVNAK: Questions.

Q. After bogeying 8, 9 did you think --

JULI INKSTER: You work so hard, you know, to get it to 3-under and you made bogeys on this golf course when you hit it in the rough. Here I am sitting -- I couldn't have placed it better on both my shots, and made bogeys on those two holes, so I was kind of kicking myself. But you know what, I felt like I was putting good enough and I was hitting my irons good enough. I was giving myself some opportunities, if I just, you know, keep plugging away at it, but Se Ri, played well and I thought if I could get to 8-under I might have a chance. Kind of what I was looking at.

Q. You said at the beginning of the week your swing wasn't very good?

JULI INKSTER: It got it better today. I hit a lot of good irons today. But I still hit a couple you know, squirly drives and a couple of squirly irons. That, I do, I don't know, but I do it.

Q. Do you look at the scoreboard when you are out there?

JULI INKSTER: Yeah, I gaze. I glance at it here and there. I kind of want to know where I am at and what I need to do.

Q. Se Ri is pretty well known at this point for her coming from behind on the last day. She kind of has some kind of aura up there?

JULI INKSTER: She's a fast finisher. She usually starts off kind of plodding, kind of gets herself in the hunt; then Sunday she let's it all go. But she's a great player. She's probably our -- her and Grace are probably our second best players out here. You got to expect they are going to go low one time.

Q. What was the nature of your trouble at No. 8 today?

JULI INKSTER: I was right in the middle of the fairway. I had 155 yards, which is perfect 7-iron and I just pushed it. Got in the bunker to the right but it got on the back lip of the bunker and I am going that way, so it was not a good place.

Q. If Se Ri finishes off, she clinches a Hall of Fame spot. What is going through her mind?

JULI INKSTER: She's definitely a Hall-of-Famer, no doubt about it. She's earned it. Especially, I don't know -- how old is Se Ri?


JULI INKSTER: That's pretty impressive. Her and Annika, they are impressive young players. Annika is not so young anymore, but Se Ri --

Q. Closing this course in a week or so and they are going to redo all of the greens, all of the bunkers to try -- replacing the poa annua with bent grass. If there's a weakness to this golf course, would you say that it's the inconsistency of the greens?

JULI INKSTER: Yeah, I would say so, but I think the layout makes up for it. I think there's-- I think it is a great layout. It's very challenging, especially like yesterday you get the wind blowing, and you know, the thing with the wind here it doesn't really below consistently. It blows and stops, blows and stops and switches around so I mean, really it's really tough. But I do think the greens could probably be a little bit more consistent. I think the bunkering is awesome. I think the rough around the greens, you can tell they are not worried about mowing this course, that's for sure.

Q. They are expanding the landing area at No. 8, giving it a larger landing area?

JULI INKSTER: That's good for me. Larger the better.

Q. Fans love these Sunday charges when a player comes from the middle of the pack and like all of a sudden she's right at the top of the board. From a player's standpoint is that the most satisfying way to win?

JULI INKSTER: Yeah, I think -- well, I think the hardest way to win is having a lead and holding a lead. I just think that's a tough, tough way to go. I think the easiest way to win is coming from behind. Because no one expects you to win. You are out there, you know, just firing at the pins and I think sometimes when you are leading you have a tendency to play a little bit more conservative, and kind of fall back to, you know, not play the game that got you there, and I think sometimes you have a tendency to drawback into playing too conservative. I think when you are behind it's like today, I figured okay if I shoot 5-under, you know, I am going to have a chance, I think because I don't know, I just felt like 8-under would have been a good score.

Q. I was going to say the counterpoint is that when you are behind you step on the 1st tee knowing you are going to shoot a 65 or 66 or you are going to be up the track somewhere?


Q. So the first time like an early bogey something like that would be a huge blow?

JULI INKSTER: Yeah, then you start pressing, it's just what am I going to do. So I think sometimes you play more relaxed coming from behind.

Q. You talked in the past about American players and, American girls in general and how their focus isn't on necessarily on golf because they have soccer and softball as opposed to international players. As a golfer do you wish more American girls would focus on golf?

JULI INKSTER: Oh, yeah. I would love for it. I think there's a cycle now, it's like, you know, seven years ago, five years ago it was the Swedish. Then now it's the Koreans. I just think five or seven years from now we're going to have a lot of good young American players just because the junior programs are full again. I mean, at our course we have got like nine girls, 10 and under that are playing. Whether they keep playing, or not, you know, college-wise or professional-wise or whatever, but I just think more and more girls are playing. I think their folks you know, are putting them into golf. I still think it's hard for kids to play golf, just because it's kind of an upper-echelon-country-club-type of setting. I think that's what First Tee and these junior programs are -- if you can just introduce them to golf, you never know someone might take it up and go with it.

PAUL ROVNAK: Score card, please.

JULI INKSTER: No. 3, I hit 7-wood just to the left and I made a really good chip. About 3-footer for birdie.

No. 4, I hit sand wedge in there about five feet, made that for birdie.

No. 7, I drove it in the right rough, and I laid up and I had 10 five yards, I think to the pin. Hit sand wedge to about three feet, made that for birdie.

Then 8, I hit a good 7-wood off the tee and pushed my 7-iron in the bunker and just blasted out, only shot I had was about a 25-footer, missed that. Made bogey.

9 right down the middle again. Pushed an 8-iron. Chipped up, missed about a 15-footer for par.

Then No. 10, I hit 8-iron about five feet, made that for birdie.

No. 14, I hit over the green. Had an impossible chip made bogey there, missed about a 30-footer for par. 2-putted for bogey.

Let's see. 15, I hit a really good drive, hit 5-iron, just over the back but I was still putting and made that for eagle. That was about an 18-footer.

Then 17, I hit a little 6-iron in there about twelve feet, made that for birdie. That's it.

PAUL ROVNAK: Anymore questions?

End of FastScripts.

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