LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. (Feb. 18, 2022) – The United States Golf Association (USGA) has named five- time USGA champion Juli Inkster as the recipient of the 2022 Bob Jones Award, the Association’s highest honor awarded for character, respect and sportsmanship in the game of golf.
Presented annually since 1955, the Bob Jones Award recognizes an individual who demonstrates the exemplary personal traits exhibited by Jones, a nine-time USGA champion whose integrity and spirit are considered the gold standard in golf. Past recipients of the distinguished award include Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Mickey Wright, Nancy Lopez, President George H.W. Bush and Se Ri Pak.
The honor recognizes Inkster’s lifelong pursuit of excellence, both on and off the course. The Santa Cruz, Calif., native has mentored countless junior players across the world and has passionately advocated for equity in the sport through her ongoing career as a player, leader, captain and announcer. Known for her tireless work ethic, her commitment to education and valuing teamwork as an essential trait in golf, she continues to inspire new generations of young women to pursue their careers and enjoy the game for a lifetime.
“Juli exemplifies the true nature of this award in every way,” said Mike Whan, USGA CEO. “The game of golf is better because Juli is in it. She has earned respect throughout her impressive playing career, but more than that, her mentorship to other players has had a tremendous impact on so many. We are very lucky to have her in the USGA family and are thrilled to honor her with this prestigious award.”
In 2019, the seven-time major champion helped create the Juli Inkster Senior Award, given annually by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association to the top-ranked female college golfer who has completed her fourth year of eligibility. The recognition comes with a mentorship opportunity with Inkster to help prepare graduating athletes for the next steps in their golf careers. Inkster, a three-time All American, played for San Jose State University from 1979 – 1982, during which time she won the U.S. Women’s Amateur three times. She turned professional in 1983 after an amateur career that also included an appearance in the 1982 Curtis Cup Match. In total, she has competed in 43 USGA championships over five decades.
It would start a 40+-year career in golf, which includes two U.S. Women’s Open Championship wins and five other major titles. Among Inkster’s 45 professional victories, she has won six Legends Tour events, has more wins in Solheim Cup matches than any other American (9), was a captain of three Solheim Cup teams and is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame. Inkster also holds a 6-4 career playoff record, many of them at major championships, underscoring her character and sportsmanship in both defeat and victory.
“From the U.S. Women’s Amateur to the U.S. Women’s Open, some of the proudest moments of my career have been made possible by the USGA,” said Inkster. “Bob Jones represented the epitome of what the game of golf is all about. To receive an award named after him, and given by the USGA, that goes beyond recognizing my golf achievements, but recognizes the respect I have for the game and passion for giving back to it. It is an unbelievable honor to receive this award.”
Inkster will be honored during a Bob Jones Award ceremony conducted by the USGA during U.S. Open Championship week this June, near The Country Club, in Brookline, Mass.