This is also a comeback year for Gerring, sister of PGA Tour player Bill Kratzert. In 1989 she and her mother, Joanne Kratzert, spent more time in hospital emergency rooms around the country, dealing with her son's medical problems, than they did in their van. Poor little Zachary suffered 10 ear infections in a span of four months, and Gerring missed almost as many cuts. In April '89, during a tour stop in Los Angeles, Gerring almost gave up. She was in an emergency room again, this time because the antibiotic Zachary was taking had caused severe diarrhea and dehydration. Gerring decided that if her son didn't get better soon, she would leave the tour.
The story has a Mother's Day ending. Zachary did get better. A few weeks later a doctor in Columbus, Ohio, inserted tubes in the baby's ears to ward off future infection, and that did the trick. This season Zachary is healthy and Gerring is in the Top 10 on the money list. "It's a sacrifice to have children and play the tour, but those sacrifices have been well worth it," she says.
Inkster insists she can play golf and mother at the same time and that neither game need suffer. "I think you can do both, if you have a supportive family and a great husband," she says. She admits she has had it pretty easy so far. Her husband, Brian, the pro at the Los Altos (Calif.) Country Club, frequently handles midnight feeding chores, and relatives have pitched in to baby-sit while Juli practiced. Still, adjustments have been necessary as Inkster learns to juggle her new responsibilities. An admitted sleepaholic, she liked to turn in at nine at night and rise at nine in the morning. Now, though she gets up at seven, some tasks go undone.
"In the long run I think motherhood will help me," Inkster says. As if to make her point, she got off to a blazing postnatal start, finishing 11th after that opening round 70 at the Dinah Shore and seventh the next week in San Diego.
As a group, the LPGA moms profess to cheer for each other, but Inkster is testing the clan's loyalty. They claim that while her high finishes are giving motherhood a good name, she is spoiling a perfectly acceptable excuse for poor play.