Inkster Hoping To Play 2012 U.S. Women's Open

Hall of Famer has been sidelined since elbow surgery in January

Juli Inkster would like to make her 23rd consecutive U.S. Women's Open start in July. (John Mummert/USGA)
By David Shefter, USGA
May 3, 2012

Daly City, Calif. – Two-time U.S. Women’s Open champion Juli Inkster is optimistic that she will be able to make her 23rd consecutive Women’s Open start this July at Blackwolf Run, following a long hiatus due to elbow surgery.

Speaking at U.S. Girls’ Junior Media Day at Lake Merced Golf Club on May 1, the 2000 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee said she has already begun hitting balls off a tee. “In the next couple of weeks I hope to rev that up,” said Inkster. “My goal is to play the week before [the Women’s Open], but I am not rushing it.”

On Jan. 27, Inkster had surgery to repair a torn tendon and an ulnar nerve in her right elbow. The operation was performed by Dr. Gordon Brody and Dr. Michael Willingham of the Sports Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Center in Redwood City, Calif.

It was the first time in Inkster’s 29-year professional career that she had sustained a major injury. That longevity has enabled the 51-year-old Inkster to stay competitive against the younger LPGA Tour players.

During her hiatus from the LPGA Tour, Inkster, who owns seven major titles and five USGA titles, has spent more time with her family. Her oldest daughter, Hayley, will graduate in a few weeks from Santa Clara University with a communications degree, while her youngest daughter, Cori, has decided to attend Villanova University this fall. Inkster said she assisted Cori with her college search while adjusting to life without competitive golf.

“They’re my best buddies,” said Inkster of her children. “Raising two daughters has been the greatest thrill that I have ever had.”

Both of Inkster’s daughters and her husband, Brian, a teaching professional, were on hand for her first U.S. Women’s Open triumph in 1999 at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Miss. Three years later, Inkster won her second Open at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan., the same venue where she claimed the first of her remarkable three consecutive U.S. Women’s Amateur titles (1980-82).

Inkster turned pro in 1983 and was named the LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year after winning two majors (Kraft Nabisco Championship and du Maurier Classic) in 1984. In all, she owns 31 LPGA Tour titles and has amassed more than $11 million in career earnings. She also has competed in nine Solheim Cups for the United States, earning a record 18.5 points.

If Inkster plays the 2012 Women’s Open, it would be her 31st appearance in the championship dating to her amateur days in 1978. She is also in the final year of a 10-year exemption for winning the 2002 Open.

Inkster, who turns 52 on June 24, began feeling discomfort in the elbow late in the 2010 season, but was still able to make 20 starts in 2011 before shutting it down for good in November. The long layoff has Inkster itching to return to competition against the young stars of the tour such as world No. 1 Yani Tseng, Paula Creamer and defending Women’s Open champion So Yeon Ryu of Korea.

“I’m anxious to get back out there and compete,” she said.

David Shefter is a senior staff writer for the USGA. Email him at 

Follow the USGA
Become a Facebook Fan of the USGAFollow us on Twitter @usopengolf
World Amateur Golf Ranking
WAGR Counting Event
Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

Rolex image

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website,, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit

AmEx image

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit

AmEx image
American Express

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit

AmEx image