Inkster moving on after DQ

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:30 AM ET

WINNIPEG -- Juli Inkster should have been going out among the final few groups on Sunday.

Instead, the veteran LPGA Tour player stayed away from the golf course entirely after getting disqualified from the Safeway Classic at the Ghost Creek Course in North Plains, Ore. for using a weighted training aid on her nine iron while trying to stay loose during a lengthy wait on a Par-5 10th hole after play slowed to a halt on Saturday.

To make matters worse, the disqualification only came about after a fan who was watching the round on The Golf Channel e-mailed in and pointed out the rules violation (rule 14-3 of the United States Golf Association rules of golf states that practice devices cannot be used during rounds) to an official.

When meeting with reporters on Monday, 50-year-old Inkster chose her words carefully, but you got the idea she wasn't thrilled with the final decision.

"I just don't understand, it was a pretty severe punishment for not affecting any part of the golf," said Inkster, who shot 69-67 and would have been right in the thick of things were it not for the untimely ruling. "I don't really get it but it's done."

Rather than sit around and stew over what might have been, Inkster tried to relax on Sunday before making her way to Winnipeg on the charter that carried many players.

"I just ignored (Sunday's final round). I watched my (San Francisco) Giants lose 9-0 and then I watched the (San Francisco) 49ers play," said Inkster, who's also a San Jose Sharks fan.

An arrival past midnight didn't prevent Inkster from getting a refresher course on St. Charles Country Club early Monday morning.

Inkster is one of a handful of players who actually teed it up at St. Charles back in 1992, when the du Maurier Classic was captured by Sherri Steinhauer.

Not even playing the back nine during Monday's practice round could trigger any old memories.

"It's weird, I'm usually pretty good at that and good at remembering the different holes," said Inkster, who has $138,261.75 in earnings this season and has posted one Top-10 finish in 14 starts on the LPGA Tour. "Somebody told me that when I was out there 'I was there when you eagled that hole (with a nine-iron from the fairway).' It's not like I do it all the time."

As for what it's going to take to have success at St. Charles this week, Inkster recognizes there is plenty of trouble if you don't keep the ball in the fairway.

"It's a good golf course," said Inskster, who was the LPGA Rookie of the Year in 1984 and has 31 LPGA Tour victories on her resume. "You're going to have to drive the ball well, the rough is up."

While Inkster might be on the back nine of her competitive career, she showed last week she still has the game to compete when she's clicking on all cylinders.

"I'm playing well and I was really looking forward to playing on Sunday -- I felt I was playing good enough to win," said Inkster, who was inducted into the LPGA Tour and World Golf Hall of Fame in 2000. "I'm putting better. Last year I really struggled with my putting. Saturday wasn't much fun, but it's still usually pretty fun out here."


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