SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. –- Juli Inkster was the final name on Wednesday’s practice-round tee sheet. The veteran was scheduled to go off alone at 2:31 p.m. on a windy Long Island afternoon, just a half hour after she’d finished her media obligations for the day.
Inkster, 53, needed that practice round, not for the repetition but because she was one of three players to land at Sebonack Golf Club mid-week, thanks to a charity event in Barrington, R.I., on Monday and Tuesday. Inkster, Morgan Pressel and Lexi Thompson were part of the co-ed CVS Charity Classic played at Rhode Island Country Club. Pressel, paired with Jay Haas, recorded the best finish among that trio. She and Haas were third in the best-ball competition.
Inkster, who received a USGA exemption into her 34th U.S. Women’s Open, put her priorities in line when it came to the CVS event, one she’s played in six times.
To make up for the quick turnaround from the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship (where Inkster finished T-13) to Barrington (where she and partner Russell Henley finished T-5) to Sebonack, Inkster put in some extra practice a few weeks ago.
“I got in here and did my homework, what I needed to do,” Inkster said of the tight turnaround. “I have to say I feel very rested and relaxed because I maybe just got in and haven’t stressed out yet. So I feel like I’m playing pretty good, I’m looking forward to playing.”
Inkster noted the golf course’s length and, like the majority of players to talk layout and strategy this week, pinpointed approach shots as the key to success.
“It’s kind of out there in front of you,” she said. “You’ve just got to kind of play the slopes and you’ve got to hit some accurate shots.”
At 6,821 yards, Inkster correctly guessed that the rest of the week will consist of long rounds. On Wednesday, however, Inkster was headed out for her long walk at the best of time of day.