So, the entire crowd at the women’s British Open
is watching 16-year-old prodigy Michelle Wie, who promptly struggles through
the first round, while a 46-year-old calmly shoots six-under for a three shot
lead.

You’ve got to love sport, don’t you? Especially
golf, where two people 30 years apart in age can legitimately compete. On day
one of the women’s Open at Royal Lytham links, youth got its ass whupped.

Wie had carried all the headlines into the Open,
trying to become the youngest winner ever. Instead, Juli Inkster, trying to
become the oldest ever winner, played brilliantly for her three shot lead.

You get the sense that Inkster
enjoyed the day. Not only did she play out of her brain, only missing a 65
because she found a fairway bunker on the 18th, but she must have
had fun mentioning to the press that she has a daughter, Hayley, who is the
same age as Wie.

Given Inkster had
won two majors before Wie was born, it’s quite a story.

“When I
first started out, I thought I’d play five years and quit and have a family and
head off into the sunset,” she told the press.
“But I keep playing. I play 18 to 25 (tournaments) a year and make a pretty
good living and enjoy what I do. If it was a grind, I wouldn’t do it.”

While Wie has attracted mountains of press, and
some raised eyebrows, for competing on the men’s tour before she has won an
LPGA event, our feeling is that Inkster could fit straight into the men’s tour
even more easily, going by this comment after her round:

“I played
very well all day. It’s a tough golf course. If someone had offered me a 66 I
would have gone to the bar and watched.”

Australia’s
Karrie Webb has been in hot form of late but carded a 76 to be ten shots off the
pace after the first round. Wie carried all her pressure around the course for
a two-over 74. Annika
Sorenstam dropped three shots on the last two holes to finish even with the
card.

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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