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Juli Simpson Inkster

Mrs. Juli Simpson Inkster, 22, of Los Altos, California, become the fifth player to win the Women's Amateur Championship in three consecutive years, joining Beatrix Hoyt (1896-97-98), Alexa Stirling (1916-1919-20-World War I cancelled this Championship in 1917-1918), Glenna Collett Vare (1928-29-30), and Virginia Van Wie (1932-33-34).

Her 18 consecutive match-play victories in this championship are one short of the 19 consecutive matches won by Miss Stirling and Mrs. Vare.

Mrs. Inkster won with a 4 and 3 victory over Cathy Hanlon, of Palos Verdes Estates, California, on the South Course of the Broadmoor Golf Club, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Both Mrs. Inkster and Miss Hanolon were members of the 1982 Curtis Cup Team.

Penny Hammel, of Decatur, Illinois, tied the 36-hole qualifying record with 143, one under par, matching the score shot in 1966 by Shelley Hamlin and equaled two years later by Catherine Lacoste.

Amy Benz, of Clearwater, Florida, shot 69 on the second day, matching the 18-hole record set by Barbara Fay White Boddie in 1969. The misses Hammel and Benz both lost in the quarterfinals. Mrs. Inkster and Miss Hanlon qualified with scores of 148 and 151, respectively.

Mrs. Inkster's first opponent nearly ended her quest for a third title. Matched against Caroline Gowan, of Greenville, South Carolina, Mrs. Inkster was three down after four holes. She fought back to go 1 up after 16, but lost the 17th to square the match. On the 18th, a par 4, Miss Gowan drove into a fairway bunker, then played a remarkable shot over the trees to within eight feet of the hole.

Mrs. Inkster left her approach just short of the green, chipped poorly, but holed a 15-foot putt to save par. Miss Gowan missed her short birdie putt by an inch, and they went to extra holes. Mrs. Inkster birdied the 19th to win the match.

In the second round, Mrs. Inkster eliminated Carol Semple, of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, 3 and 1. It marked the third consecutive year that Mrs. Inkster had defeated Miss Semple, a fellow Curtis-Cupper and former Women's Amateur Champion.

Mrs. Inkster then ousted Robin Wohltman, of Independence, Kansas, 6 and 5; medalist Penny Hammel, 2 and 1, in the quarterfinals; and Lisa Kluver, of Alexandria, Minnesota, 3 and 2, in the semi-finals.

Miss Hanlon did not lose a single hole in three of her first five matches before the final. In those five matches she won 32 holes, halved 32, and lost only four. Mrs. Inkster's play throughout the week on the par 5s was awesome. Of the 28 she played, she earned conceded eagles twice, birdied 13, had par on 10, and bogeyed only three.

In the final, she was 2 up after the first 18 holes. Miss Hanlon rallied after lunch, winning the first two holes of the afternoon round, and the match was even again. She won only one more hole all day, the ninth, with a par 5.

Mrs. Inkster, meanwhile, birdied the fourth, sixth, eighth (a chip-in), 10th (halving the hole), and 11th holes to go three up with seven holes left. Her dominance of the par 5s was clearly demonstrated on the 12th hole. After a long tee shot, she played a 4-iron shot from 239 yards away that landed just short of the green, bounced towards the flagstick, and stopped just eight inches from the hole.

Miss Hanlon conceded the eagle. They halved the 13th, 14th, and 15th holes and the match was over. Mrs. Inkster was five under par. During the 33 holes of the match, Mrs. Inkster made 10 birdies and one eagle.

Miss Hanlon was one under; she made six birdies. The USGA received 262 entries, short of the record 281 set in 1980.

Championship Facts

U.S. Women's Amateur

HISTORY: The U.S. Women’s Amateur is one of the United States Golf Association’s original three championships. It was first conducted in 1895, shortly after the inaugural U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open. The Women’s Amateur has since been conducted every year except 1917-18, when it was temporarily suspended because of World War I, and 1942-45, when it was suspended because of World War II.

PAR & YARDAGE: Yardage for the Eugene Country Club will be set at 6,484 (stroke play) / 6,516 (match play) yards, par 72.

ARCHITECT: Opened in 1926, the course was designed by H. Chandler Egan. In 1967, Robert Trent Jones Sr. reversed the routing of the original Egan design (i.e., No. 18 tee essentially became the first tee, etc.).

Fairways – Cut to ˝ inch
Tees and collars of greens – Cut to 3/8 inch
Putting greens – Prepared to be firm and fast to measure approximately 11 to 11 1/2 feet on the USGA Stimpmeter
Intermediate rough – Cut to 1 ˝ inches, approximately 6 feet wide along fairways
Primary rough – Cut to 2 ˝ to 3 inches
Player courtesy walks – Cut to 1 ˝ inches, approximately 6 feet wide
The championship setup results in a USGA Course Rating™ of 78.1 and a Slope Rating® of 144

FORMAT: The Women’s Amateur is conducted with 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying. The low 64 scorers then advance to match play, with the champion determined by a 36-hole match-play final.

WHO CAN ENTER: The championship is open to female amateurs who have USGA handicap indexes not exceeding 5.4.

ENTRIES: Entries for the 2008 U.S. Women’s Amateur closed on June 18. There were 960 entries received for the 2008 championship, just shy of the record 969 entries received for the 2006 U.S. Women’s Amateur.



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