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Inkster and Watson kindred spirits

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Juli Inkster’s eyes lighted up on her 50th birthday at the LPGA Championship last month when she was asked about Tom Watson’s longevity.

She was inspired watching him nearly win the British Open last year at Turnberry when he was 59.

Now look who’s played their way onto the leaderboard today in the first round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Royal Birkdale. Inkster’s won seven majors, but she’s looking for her first Women’s British Open title. 

“I’m nowhere near a Tom Watson, but he plays for the love of the game,” Inkster said at the LPGA Championship.

 “He doesn’t need to play. He plays because he likes to compete. He plays because he likes to hit shots. He just plays because he loves the game.”

Clearly, Inkster sees a kindred spirit in Watson because her love of the game rivals anyone’s. Her 1-under-par 71 Thursday moved her into early contention.

If Inkster can win this week at 50, she will add to her Hall of Fame career by surpassing Beth Daniel (46) as the oldest winner of an LPGA event, Fay Crocker (45) as the oldest winner of an LPGA major and Julius Boros (48) as the oldest man or woman to win a major.