Inkster holds on to repeat as Legend Classic champion
Updated: Aug 14
(August 14, 2022 - Prior Lake, Minnesota) - Walking to the 10th tee in today’s final round of the Land O’Lakes Legends Classic, defending champion Juli Inkster gave herself a private pep talk.
“I was mad,” said Inkster. “I said, come on, man, you’re hitting the ball well, let’s start making some putts.”
After carding a 67 in the opening round and taking the overnight lead, Inkster came into Sunday knowing she had left a lot of opportunities out there due to “shoddy” putting. Her struggles continued on the front side as she carded bogies on holes 1 and 8, and then missed a 10-foot birdie putt on hole 9.
As Inkster faltered, Leta Lindley capitalized. Playing a hole ahead of Inkster, Lindley made birdies on holes 3 and 6 to move up the leaderboard. Another birdie on hole 10 gave her the outright lead at 6 under par while Inkster had fallen to 3 under.
“I didn’t look at a leaderboard yesterday, but today I looked on the 10th hole, figured out where everybody was and said to myself, you better get it together,” noted Inkster.
Inkster knocked her approach to five feet on the 10th hole and dropped that putt for her first birdie of the day. It was just the trigger she needed to reverse her front 9 woes. She carded back-to-back birdies on 12 and 13 and reclaimed the lead on hole 16 with another birdie to get to 7 under, overtaking Lindley by a stroke with two holes to play. Up ahead, Lindley grazed the hole with her 12-foot birdie attempt on 18 to finish at 6 under and leave it to Inkster to hold on for the win.
“I’ve been rolling the ball better and making more putts,” said Lindley, a Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. native who competed on the LPGA Tour for over 15 years, posting one win and 33 top ten finishes. “I really felt confident and calm today. I just wish I could have had a couple more fall. I hit a great putt on the last hole – exactly the way I wanted to, it just didn’t break quite as much.”
Closing with two solid pars was enough for Inkster to successfully defend her 2021 title and earn a second trip to the winner’s circle at The Meadows at Mystic Lake – and her 7th on the Legends of the LPGA. Lindley’s runner-up finish was her best to date on the senior circuit
Two-time LPGA Tour winner Laura Diaz, in her second season on Legends of the LPGA, secured solo 3rd while tournament co-owner and four-time Legends champion Michele Redman and Sweden’s Maria (Hjorth) McBride tied for 4th. McBride fired the round of the day, carding 6 birdies against a lone bogey to sign for a 67 to move from T15 to T4.
Tournament organizers are hopeful the event will return for a 3rd year to the greater Minneapolis area. And so is Inkster, an LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame member and one of the most decorated players in the history of women’s golf.
“I just really love the game, and I love to play,” smiled Inkster. “I really enjoy bantering with the cronies and having fun out here.”
For tournament news and information, visit LegendsClassicMN.com.
PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Lawler