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Better with age: Inkster, 54, near lead

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RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Juli Inkster is supposed to be tapering off competitively.

She’s 54.

She’s immersed in duties as the American Solheim Cup captain.

So what’s she doing on the leaderboard after the first round of the ANA Inspiration?

“I saw that when we were walking up 18,” said Morgan Pressel, the first-round leader. “I was like `Get it, Jules!’ She's unbelievable ... She just loves to play. She wants to get better, and nobody hates playing poorly more than Juli. She is just such a grinder and such a fighter.”

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Inkster opened Thursday with a 3-under-par 69, good for a tie for third, two shots behind Pressel. Inkster has won seven major championships, two at Mission Hills, the ’84 and ’89 Nabisco Dinah Shores.

“I think what I like about the majors is you don't have to shoot 20 under or 18 under to win,” Inkster said. “If you can come in around par, 1, 2 or 3 under par, come Sunday you'll have a shot. So that's kind of why I like majors.”