WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Juli Inkster was denied entry into the player locker room Friday morning at the Kingsmill Championship because she didn’t have her badge. Sophie Gustafson tweeted about the snafu, giving everyone a good laugh about the good-humored Hall of Famer, who happens to be two strokes off the lead here in chilly Virginia.
Inkster, 52, said she has been hitting the ball better than she has in a long time but wasn’t capitalizing on the greens. So last Sunday in Texas, Inkster tried the claw putting grip for the first time. She had never even practiced.
“Putting is all in your head,” Inkster said, “and I just got on a bad roll and needed to do something drastic to switch it up.”
Inkster carded back-to-back 69s at Kingsmill and needed only 26 putts on Friday. She’s currently tied for fifth, and two strokes off the lead.
Did she ever consider going to the Michelle Wie 90-degree putting posture?
“Table-topping?” Inkster said. “No, I wouldn’t be able to get up.”
It was announced on Thursday that Inkster received a special exemption to play in this year’s U.S. Women’s Open at Sebonack.
“It’s a great honor,” she said. “I’m very happy that I didn’t have to go through qualifying, but I would have. I never want to miss an Open.”
Inkster planned to play Sebonack for the first time in the coming weeks to get the lay of the land. And what has she heard?
“The greens are really tough,” she said. “I’m going to have to really work the claw.”