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Inkster: 'I hope I dont qualify' for U.S. Solheim Cup team

Juli Inkster
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PHOENIX – Juli Inkster wanted the U.S. Solheim Cup captain’s job this year, but she isn’t so sure she wants to make the team as a player again.

With a 4-under-par 68 Thursday at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup, the forever-young Inkster is showing at 52 that she might be capable of mustering a run at making her 10th U.S. Solheim Cup team.

“I hope not,” Inkster cracked. “I think it’s time for the young girls to step up and start playing well. I’m just going to play golf and see what shakes out, and I hope I don’t qualify. How about that?”

Inkster already holds the American records for most Solheim Cups played (9), most points scored (18½) and most matches won (15). She is 21st on the American points list today. The top eight in points and the two highest Rolex world-ranked Americans not already qualified will automatically make the team when the matches are played Aug. 16-18 at Colorado Golf Club. Two captain’s picks will round out the 12-woman team.

Inkster’s only real burning aim left in the competition is to be captain. Meg Mallon got the nod over Inkster for the 2013 matches.

“I wanted it, they gave it to Meg, but I’ll be 100 percent behind Meg,” Inkster said.

Inkster would appear to be the favorite to lead the American team in Germany in 2015, but Dottie Pepper’s emergence as one of Mallon’s assistants opens the door to Pepper’s possible future captaincy.

Mallon named Laura Diaz as her second assistant on Wednesday while Inkster was among 30 players who were eligible this week for fittings for U.S. Solheim Cup uniforms.

“I don’t get too far ahead of myself,” Inkster said. “I just flow. I love what I do. I love to play golf. I’m not going to be the No. 1 player, but when I play OK, I think I can compete out here. I enjoy the challenge. That’s the main thing.”