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An Interview With Angela Stanford
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RHONDA GLENN:  Ladies and gentlemen, we would like to welcome Angela Stanford, who has a long history with the United States Golf Association.  She was a member of the USA Curtis Cup team and competed in all of our amateur championships, and now, of course, hopes to win the Women's Open.  Angela, you've recently taken some time off from playing because your mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.  You're very close to her.  How is she doing?

            ANGELA STANFORD:  Well, everything's fairly new, so we kind of went through the couple of weeks that werethe hardest weeks of finding out, and then, you know, realizing what's going to happen and how it changes your life.  And this last weekend she had a good weekend because she said she didn't have to go see any doctors or anything like that.

            Today she had the CATscan, and my family is there.  Apparently they're in chemo class right now learning about chemo.  It was rough out there today, because, you know, when you said I took some time off, I'm not sure I took enough time off.

            RHONDA GLENN:  How much time did you actually take away from the Tour?

            ANGELA STANFORD:  You know, because we had the week off after McDonald's, I really only missed one event which was Wegmans, and then decided to play Jamie Farr, because she basically kicked me out of town.

            RHONDA GLENN:  Your mother has been quoted saying that "I don't think you understand how much we like watching." 

            ANGELA STANFORD:  Yeah.

            RHONDA GLENN:  So she has followed your career very closely.

            ANGELA STANFORD:  Oh, yeah.  She would never watch on the course, because she said she got too nervous, but she sits at the computer and they watch the live scoring.  She says that they're happy watching, but it's still tough.

            RHONDA GLENN:  Yeah, I know it is.  How about your game?  What's the state of your game right now?

            ANGELA STANFORD:  You know, I think good.  I need to learn how to mentally be in the present right now.  If I can conquer that this week, I think I'll be okay.

            That's the blessing that the physical side of my golf game is good, because I think if I were hitting it all over the map and had to deal with my mental state right now, I wouldn't have a shot in the world.

            RHONDA GLENN:  How do you intend to focus your mind to prepare for this?

            ANGELA STANFORD:  You know, I still don't know.  You know, I thought last week was going to be easier for some reason.  I thought by getting back out on the road and playing and knowing that, you know, my family was taking care of my mom at home, I thought I would be able to focus once I got on the course and got into the tournament, and I've always been able to do that in everything I've ever done, but this one's been different.

            And I had a tough time last week, so, you know, maybe I think it's just an adjustment, you know.  I'm not used to having to think about something like this, so I don't know.  I still don't know.

            RHONDA GLENN:  Questions?

            Q.  Does it help to have your little posse out there, Brittany Lincicome and Jenny Gleason, Kristy McPherson?  I know you guys are real tight.  Does it help you to spend time with them, and if so, how?

            ANGELA STANFORD:  Yeah.  You know, I think for two reasons.  I mean, one, they keep things very light.  I spend more time laughing at them than being serious, but at the same time, they know my family, and they know my mom.

            I know Kristy's mom has been through cancer, so they're able to, you know, to kind of know, there's the fun side, but then there's also the supportive side.  And knowing my family and knowing me, they care about me as a person, so that's helped a lot, because I don't feel like I'm alone out here.

            That was the one thing that my mom, you know, she was like, I know you've got some good friends out there to take care of you out there, so they've been a blessing.

            RHONDA GLENN:  They're good friends.  How good?  Do you play your practice rounds together?  Do you have dinner together?  What sort of things do you do together?

            ANGELA STANFORD:  Oh, we're usually together all the time; practice rounds, dinner.  We had sushi last night.  We play cards.  We'll go to Vegas once a year.

            It's just really cool, you know.  I never imagined I would have friends out here that I think I'm going to be friends with after playing golf, so they're great girls, great people.

            RHONDA GLENN:  Stay in the same hotel?

            ANGELA STANFORD:  Sometimes.  We mix it up.

            They know I can only take so much of them, so they know I'm a bit of a loner, so they know I have my weeks where I have to go stay like by myself, away from them, and the cool thing is they still love me for that.  (laughter.)

            RHONDA GLENN:  Are you staying away from them this week?

            ANGELA STANFORD:  I am away from them this week, except Meredith Duncan is right across the hall.  That wasn't even on purpose.  I showed up last night and she's right across the hall.

            Q.  What did you take away from 2003?  And is it hard not to think that that might be your only shot at winning a Women's Open?

            ANGELA STANFORD:  Well, the thing that I took away from it is that I can win one, that I can put myself in that position, and anything can happen.

            I don't believe that was my one shot.  And ever since that moment, I, you know, that was supposed to happen.  That, you know, God knew that way before I did.  But I also believe He has one in store for me.

            I think that's what made getting over that that much easier, because I know that there's one in store for me.

            Q.  I've seen a lot of young teenage golfers out there, college golfers, women, and I'm wondering what you think an event like this does to encourage the younger women or teenagers that want to aspire to what you guys do?

            ANGELA STANFORD:  You mean a bunch of teenagers in the field this week?

            Q.  Not in the field but...

            ANGELA STANFORD:  Spectating?

            Q.  Spectating.

            ANGELA STANFORD:  Okay.  Okay.  You know, I've always been impressed with how the USGA promotes these events with kids and teenagers.  And, you know, there have always been a lot of kids out at U.S. Opens for us.

            Seems like there's always a program to encourage the kids to come out.  I think it's great, because they're just growing the game of golf, and it's been a lot of fun this week, and Opens are always a lot of fun.  But just to watch these kids light up any time you sign something for them, you say hi to them or take a picture with them, I think it makes the game. I think it just grows the game.

            Q.  How does the buzz coming into this tournament compare to years past from your vantage point?

            ANGELA STANFORD:  For me, it's always the same.  I mean, I don't know.  I think everybody gears up for U.S. Opens.  They're so different from what we see every week.

            They're just a lot of fun, because the golf courses are always very pure, but very challenging, and I think the buzz is the same for me, so...

            RHONDA GLENN:  As good as, say, Pumpkin Ridge?

            ANGELA STANFORD:  I hope so.

            Q.  Your take on the course here specifically, the length of it that played yesterday, how it's drying out, and how puttable the greens are?

            ANGELA STANFORD:  You know, I didn't play yesterday, but we played here right after Corning.  We kind of snuck in and got a round in.

            I think it's playing very similar, because when I left after playing that one day that Monday, I thought, boy, this is long.  You're going to have to hit it straight and long.  Sometimes you can get away with hitting it long and being all over the place, but not this week.

            And hitting, for me, 5-iron, 4-iron, 7-wood into these greens, I mean, I don't believe I'm the longest player out here, but I think I'm above average, so, you know, if you're not used to hitting those long clubs and then you're hitting them into smaller greens than you're used to, it's going to be a real challenge.

            And also, if the greens firm up, that's really going to make it more challenging, because now you're having to hold a green with a 5-iron or 4-iron or whatever.  So I think you have to be very strategic about what part of the green you're aiming at if the greens get real firm.

            RHONDA GLENN:  To save us some research, what's your average driving distance?

            ANGELA STANFORD:  I want to say 260, 265, somewhere in there.  I haven't looked lately.

            RHONDA GLENN:  That's mighty good.

            Angela, I know you're going through a tough time, but I hope you rally, and lots of luck this week.

            ANGELA STANFORD:  Thank you.  Thanks for having me.

 

 

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