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Inkster, who grew up in the Bay Area, was among those in the crowd last week at Olympic Club before ducking out for the weekend to watch her oldest daughter, Hayley, graduate from the University of Santa Clara.

She had elbow surgery that figured to keep her out until August. But she played in the CVS Charity Classic this week in Rhode Island, and she plans to make her return next week at the Northwest Arkansas Championship in Arkansas, before going up to Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wis., for the U.S. Women’s Open.

“I can’t believe how the strength has come back,” Inkster said. “I’m pretty excited.”

She has been mainly chipping and putting for the last month or so, which has held back the 51-year-old Inkster. She advanced to playing full rounds at Los Altos, where husband Brian is the head pro, with a low round of 65.

The one difference when she returns? Inkster has been experimenting with the belly putter.


DIVOTS: Padraig Harrington and Lee Westwood are the only players to have finished in the top 10 at both majors this year. … Dylan Frittelli of South Africa, who holed a 30-foot birdie putt at Riviera to win the decisive match and give Texas the NCAA title, has signed with IMG and makes his pro debut this week at the BMW International in Germany. … Jiyai Shin has withdrawn from the U.S. Women’s Open in two weeks while recovering from surgery. … Patrick Cantlay has signed with Excel Sports Management and makes his pro debut this week at the Travelers Championship, where a year ago he shot 60 in the second round.


STAT OF THE WEEK: In the last two U.S. Opens at The Olympic Club, the winner was the only one who broke par from the last 18 players who teed off.


FINAL WORD: “If you played anything less than perfect golf, it was extremely penalizing. And I played far from perfect.” _ Phil Mickelson, who had all four rounds over par in the U.S. Open for only the second time in his career.