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Inkster Is Tied With Bradley

April 05, 1986|SHAV GLICK | Times Staff Writer

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Despite protests from the combatants that there are a lot of holes left to play, the Juli Inkster and Pat Bradley Show continued Friday in the $430,000 Nabisco Dinah Shore golf tournament at Mission Hills.

After 36 holes, Inkster and Bradley--who met in a playoff here in 1984--are tied for the lead at four-under-par 140. Bradley, the first-round leader, shot a par 72 Friday, while Inkster, who won the '84 playoff, shot a 71.

Laura Baugh, still looking for her first win as a professional after winning the U. S. Amateur when she was 16, birdied the final hole for a 69 and a 141 total to share the runner-up spot with Betsy King, who bogeyed the final hole.

Baugh sank an eight-foot putt after pitching to the island green, but King was not so fortunate. Her third shot landed in the water and cost her a bogey-6 for her 71.

Sandra Palmer, 45, who won both the U. S. Open and the Dinah Shore in 1975, is alone at 142.

An amateur, Danielle Ammaccapane of Phoenix, a junior at Arizona State, shot a 70 to move into a tie at 143 with Val Skinner, Mary Beth Zimmerman, Rosie Jones, Jan Stephenson and Mindy Moore.

Hard greens and a crosswind kept scores higher than in Thursday's opening round. There was only one other round under 70, a 68 by Lori Garbacz, but it followed a 77.

Baugh, who came so close to winning the Uniden Invitational last month at Costa Mesa before Zimmerman birdied the final three holes to steal the tournament, seemed as pleased after her 69 as if she had.

"This is such a big tournament, and so many of my friends are always here to cheer me on, and I'm a member at Mission Hills, but I haven't done that well before," she said. "My best finish here is sixth--and that was the year that Colgate gave free trips to Europe for the first five finishers."

Baugh, who has gone 12 years without a win, got off to a quick start when she birdied the first two holes with short putts.

"I thought, wow, this is going to be a great day," she bubbled. "I almost had a fight with a security guard about parking my car, it's a new white Jaguar, before I teed off. Maybe that's what I needed to get fired up."

When she birdied the 10th hole, Baugh moved into a share of the lead with Inkster and King, but she dropped back when she took three putts on both the 12th and 14th holes.

"I lipped out my first putt from 20 feet on No. 12 and then lipped out the comeback putt," she said. "I was probably too aggressive, but on No. 14 I was just lagging my first putt. I was only two or three feet short, but I missed it.

"I don't know what will happen between now and Sunday afternoon," she said, "but the more times I can be in contention the final day, the less likely I will become nervous. What I need is more patience."

Inkster, who said she spent her round protecting against mistakes, sympathized with Baugh's short-putt plight.

"Normally, we look at a two-footer as a tap-in," Inkster said. "But not here. If you have one above the hole, or on the side of a hill, two feet is a real struggle."

Inkster predicted a score of seven under par would win the LPGA-record $75,000 first prize Sunday.

"If the winds come back (as predicted), it may be higher than that," Bradley said. "When it gets windy here, it becomes a guessing game. You can't master the wind, you just try to survive it."

Bradley made two bogeys on the front nine, then struggled to make two birdies on the back nine for her par round.

"I was pleased to see that no one ran away today," Bradley said. "It's good to still be at four under par, and the other person is still four under, too."

Most of the women professionals found the hard greens extremely difficult to conquer.

"The greens definitely need water," Bradley insisted. "For instance, on No. 18, I hit a high shot that hit in front, and the ball rolled all the way up the hill and over the green. The greens are so hard they don't hold, and even though they roll true, if you get in the wrong position it's Hail Mary."

King said she thought that Mission Hills was a much different course than it was several years ago, especially the par-5s.

"The trees have grown, the grass in the fairway seems thicker and the ball doesn't roll, and it has all tended to make a good golf course much tougher," she said.

King had particular difficulty with No. 18, the 487-yard finishing hole with its island green.

"I hit a 3-wood off the tee because it is a hard driving hole, and I laid up (short of the water) with a 3-iron," she said. "That left me 96 yards from the pin, but I hit my sand wedge into the water. I took a drop and hit it eight feet from the cup and made the putt. I felt I'd made a good bogey."

Seventy-seven professionals and two amateurs made the cut at 154, 10 over par.

Hall of Fame players Kathy Whitworth and JoAnne Carner survived with identical 75-78--153s. Also at 153 was defending champion Alice Miller, who is fighting a season-long slump after winning $750,000 last year.

Whitworth, who has won 88 tournaments, more than any other American--male or female--was presented with the William D. Richardson Award in a clubhouse ceremony Friday night for "an individual who has consistently made an outstanding contribution to golf."

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