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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | GOLF NOTEBOOK

Inman Might Be Out of SBC Classic Because of Injury

March 07, 2001|MIKE BRESNAHAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

VALENCIA — The first time was unexpected. The second time was a financial feather in the cap. The third time was charming.

The fourth time will be an uphill battle.

Joe Inman, three-time champion of the SBC Senior Classic, has been receiving treatment for a strained back and sore ribs, and did not rule out withdrawing from this year's tournament, which begins Friday at Valencia Country Club.

"It's no good if I'm playing and not playing well," said Inman, who injured himself on the tour last month.

"I don't mind losing. What I mind is not being able to play well enough to put up a fight."

Inman tied for fifth in Tuesday's eight-man skills challenge, which featured approach shots, bunker shots, chips, sand shots and putts. He finished last in the longest shot of the challenge, a 115-foot approach.

Inman is scheduled to play in the two-day pro-am, which begins today at 7 a.m. Inman tees off Thursday at 8:50 a.m.

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The weather was cooperative for most of the day, though the skills challenge was hit briefly by rain.

Partly cloudy skies are expected today with isolated showers.

"The course is going to play long all week," said Howard Twitty, who tied for third in the skills challenge. "They won't be able to get the greens firm, which is the bad news."

Twitty said not to expect low scores because of the weather conditions and because few of the players are familiar with the course.

"You'll need to hit good iron shots, pitch well and putt well," he said. "We're all really kind of learning the course. It will be interesting because no one has really played locally here."

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Stewart Ginn won the skills challenge, scoring one more point than Raymond Floyd in the five-shot competition.

Ginn was second in the 115-yard approach and the lob shot.

Ginn won $5,000, Floyd $4,000.

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