PINEHURST, N.C. – Juli Inkster didn’t make the exit she hoped Sunday, but she relished the way the crowds embraced what she insists will be her final appearance in the U.S. Women’s Open.
Inkster, 53, started Sunday with a chance to become the oldest winner in the history of the championship. Four shots back in a bid to win her third U.S. Women’s Open, she received a tremendous ovation at the first tee.
She got the same love when she walked up the 18th, closing out a 75 that left her tied for 15th. In between, at every hole, she was lustily cheered in her 35th U.S. Women's Open. Nobody's played more.
“It’s really hard to acknowledge them when you’re 5 over par and struggling,” Inkster said. “I know I was disappointed in the way I played today, as a golfer, but as a person, I just felt a lot of pride that people root for me like that ... Very, very honored.”