Juli Inkster was one of the stalwarts of the LPGA from the 1980s into the 2010s, a player whose long career included many victories and majors, plus universal respect and admiration from her peers.
Date of birth: June 24, 1960
Place of birth: Santa Cruz., Calif.
LPGA Tour Victories:
Professional - 7
• Kraft Nabisco Championship: 1984, 1989
• LPGA Championship: 1999, 2000
• U.S. Women's Open: 1999, 2002
• du Maurier: 1984
Amateur - 3
• U.S. Women's Amateur: 1980, 1981, 1982
Awards and Honors:
• Member, World Golf Hall of Fame
• Member, U.S. Curtis Cup team, 1982
• Member, U.S. Solheim Cup team, 1992, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011
• Juli Inkster: "I never thought I could do what I'm doing now. I didn't think it would get as good as it has gotten."
• Rosie Jones: "I think she's a great ambassador for golf, and the word 'competitive' is Juli."
• In 1984, Juli Inkster became the first golfer to win two LPGA majors in her rookie season. (Se Ri Pak later did it in 1998.)
• Inkster holds the women's record for most collegiate victories, winning 17 tournaments during her four years at San Jose State.
Juli Inkster Biography:
Juli Inkster graduated from the California junior ranks to the top ranks of the LPGA Tour, winning majors in the 1980s, 1990s and 20-oughts.
As a child, Inkster practiced before and after school each day at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, Calif. She eventually became an employee at the course and met her future husband there.
When she wasn't working, she was playing. Inkster played collegiately at San Jose State from 1979-82, earing All-American status three of those years. She won the 1981 California Amateur, was named California's Amateur of the Year in 1981 and the Bay Area Athlete of the Year in 1982.
Her greatest glory as an amateur was in USGA competition: Inkster won the U.S. Women's Amateur three straight years, 1980-82.
In 1983 Inkster turned pro and joined the LPGA Tour in time to play eight tournaments. It only took her five before she won her first LPGA title. Her official rookie season was 1984, and that year she became the first-ever LPGA rookie to win two majors (Kraft Nabisco Championship and du Maurier Classic). She easily earned the Rookie of the Year award.
Inkster was a consistent threat through the rest of the 1980s and early 1990s. Some of her biggest wins came in playoffs over the biggest names: Pat Bradley, Nancy Lopez, Beth Daniel and Betsy King. But in 1992, Inkster twice lost majors in playoffs, the Nabisco to Dottie Pepper and U.S. Women's Open to Patty Sheehan.
Then she fell into a slump. Inkster didn't win a tournament from 1993-97. By this time she had two daughters, and she struggled to balance golf and family. She had averaged two wins a year until 1990, when her first daughter was born.
But Inkster got back on track in the late '90s, then won the LPGA Championship and U.S. Women's Open in 1999, completing a career grand slam. She won five times total that year and qualified for the Hall of Fame.
Perhaps her finest moment came in 2002 when Inkster shot a final-round 66 to catch and pass Annika Sorenstam and win her second U.S. Women's Open.
Inkster continued as a threat on the LPGA Tour into her late 40s and even after turning 50, while also serving as a mentor and role model for many younger players on tour.