Inkster paints picture of success for Sorenstam

The sentimentalists demanded that a woman on the verge of retirement should be the star turn at the Ricoh Women's British Open, although, on the first day here yesterday, it was the 48-year-old Juli Inkster rather than 37-year-old Annika Sorenstam soaring up there on the leader board. Still, if Sorenstam ever wants evidence there is a professional career after childbirth then Inkster is living, multitasking proof of that fact.

In fact, in the last two decades Inkster has shown that a mother can operate at the highest level at the same time as doing all the worrying and scurrying of the main carer. Her two daughters – now 18 and 14 – happen to be back in the family's home in America this week, so missed her opening seven-under round of 65, but for the majority of their youth were there on the road with working mum. And how they made her aware of their presence.

"I remember once, I think it was in Portland, where my youngest, Cori, had an ear infection and a fever of about 104," said the seven-times major winner. "So I took her to an emergency room about midnight and got back from the emergency room about 7.30am. That morning I had a 9.20am tee time." Inkster cannot recall how she fared – "it was all a fog"– but the memory does linger of the difficulty of those days. "Annika wants a family and she doesn't think she can have a family and play the quality of golf she's used to," Inkster said. "It was hard for me to play, having young kids out here. So I can see where she's coming from."

Inkster went on to announce: "I plan to finish out this year and then re-evaluate – but I'm close to giving it up." That will then be that for the popular Californian, who would become the oldest major winner in the female game should she carry on the form of this bogeyless magnificence. Yet she also feels that this might represent finito for Sorenstam, despite the Swede leaving the possibility of a future return open. "I don't think Annika could come back out here and finish 12th on the money list and live with herself," Inkster reasoned. "Me, I'm OK with that."

As she was saying it, the Swede was stomping off the 18th green justifying the statement. Sorenstam has rarely appeared so keen to retire. "I was looking forward to a wonderful day, but I've never made as many bogeys as I have the last three months and it's driving me crazy," she said after a 72. "I don't know what to do. I can't post something low. It seems like I can't play 18 holes."

At least the player who succeeded her as world No 1 is still within her sights. Mexico's Lorena Ochoa uncharacteristically finished bogey-bogey for a three-under 69, although, at stages, the defending champion's swing did appear ominously sweet.

For the home crowd, Johanna Head set the early pace with a 66. The 35-year-old's twin sister, Sam, is also in the field, but currently it is Ian Poulter who is her soulmate. Her husband, Terry Mundy, caddies for the flamboyant Englishman and the connection clearly does not end there. "It's Ian's manager, Paul Dunkley, who is mentoring me, but I do get along very well with Ian," said Head, who, like her friend, is based in Orlando. "He's great." No argument on that score from Poulter.

Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm actor was just 68
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices