Inkster Has Home Court Advantage


If youre looking for a sure thing, native Californian Juli Inkster is a pretty safe bet this week. The Los Altos resident seems to have the inside track at the Samsung World Championship ' set to be played at Hiddenbrooke Golf Club in Vallejo, CA for the second year in a row.
The 41-year-old holds three Samsung titles to her credit (1997, 1998, 2000) ' the last of which was captured at Hiddenbrooke GC ' and she is looking to add yet another.
After an incredible comeback season in 2000, consisting of three official victories, including one major, Inkster went on to play the 2001 season in what can only be described as comparative obscurity.
The enigmatic Hall-of-Famers year has been decent. Shes recorded nine top-15 finishes - most of which fell early in the year - and one win at the Electrolux USA Championship. But the win, just weeks after Annika Sorenstam's astounding 59, was overshadowed by the Swedes subsequent tournament title monopoly in which Annika finished in first place in the five out of six events she played leading up to Inksters first and only win this year.
After a disappointing summer, Inkster took some time off and should be thoroughly rested-up for the fight against 20 of the worlds best competitors. Joining Inkster in this years field are Koreas Se Ri Pak, Annika Sorenstam, Karrie Webb as well as Korean LPGA Tour leading money winner Ah Ram Suh and the Evian Ladies European Tour leading money winner Maria Hjorth.
Last year Inkster captured the four-day limited field even with a substantial four-stroke lead over Sorenstam. This year Inkster will try to dominate the field once again. As defending champion, Inkster is paired with Webb in the first round ' set to tee off at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday while Pak and Sorenstam play in the second to last group 'set to tee off at 8:50 a.m.