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September 16, 2018

Angela Stanford

Evian-les-Bains, France

THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, you're looking at the 2018 Evian Championship winner, Angela Stanford. If I told you that at the beginning of the day would you believe it?


THE MODERATOR: Congratulations. Give us a few thoughts on being a major champion.

ANGELA STANFORD: I don't know yet. You know, I think as golfers you always think you're going to or you wouldn't be here. I think at the end of the day obviously (sound issues.)

That's what you do. For the longest time I thought I was a major winner. I thought I was good enough. Not getting it doubt starts to creeping in, to say the least. I need to process it. Can I get back to you?

THE MODERATOR: Sure. And you looked at me and said, I'm 40. I can't believe this is me right now. Can you describe your thoughts about when you thought you would get to this mountaintop, if you thought you would get here?

ANGELA STANFORD: You know, I remember my first time being in contention was in 2003 at the Open. I was in a playoff. I didn't know at the time how close I was because it was only my third year and I had know idea what I was doing, to be perfectly honest.

As the years go on and you have all the near misses you think, Wow, am I ever going to get that close again? I had that moment on 16 tee today. Okay, you know, here you are again. This is as close as you've been in I don't know how long. So now what? We saw what happened.

So, you know, like I said, I've always believed that God has a plan. That doesn't mean I haven't doubted Him, doesn't mean I haven't doubted that plan. But deep down I was with Him one way or the other.

I was prepared to retire and not be a major champion. That was okay, because it was His plan. Like I said, He has a sense of humor.

THE MODERATOR: Talk about today's round, what it felt like starting the day. You were five shots off the lead. Did you know that you were getting closer and chipping away as you were going?

ANGELA STANFORD: No. I actually never felt close until 16 tee because I knew Amy was playing very well. You know, to do that all week and to play at a high level at a major all week is very difficult. She played some amazing golf this week.

So I never felt close at all. I didn't know if I could catch her. I had 15 in mind, and then I saw her drop to 13. I thought, Well, if I can get to 14...

Then I thought well -- you know, so you never really know. Honestly, I never thought I was close.

THE MODERATOR: I'm going to open it up to the room for questions.

Q. You've told us how you felt at 16 tee. Tell us how you felt on the 17th.
ANGELA STANFORD: Like I wanted it throw up on both tees. But, you know, I kind of told myself that I had to kind of be who I am. I do a lot of bad things; I make a lot of bad swings; I do a lot of stupid stuff.

But I'm also a grinder and a fighter and I'm also never going to quit. At that moment I needed to be me. That was all I could come up with was, You just got to be a grinder and a fighter at this point.

I mean, go down swinging. That's normally what I do, so...

Q. What was the number on 15? What was the club? And did you know when you hit it it was as good as it turned out?
ANGELA STANFORD: You know, I don't have -- I think we had like 217-ish to the front, and then that pin was on 22. So what's that? 239, right?

Q. Uh-huh.
ANGELA STANFORD: I knew when I hit it that it was on a better line than Friday. We had the same exact -- had 7-wood in my hand both times. I actually kind of hooked it a little bit on Friday. I remember thinking, I don't need to do that. Even my caddie said, The hill is going to do that for you.

So I was actually trying not to hook it there and just try to hit it as straight as I could as far right as I could. When I hit it, I thought, If it kicks straight it's way better today.

Q. When you got up there and saw how close it was -- or could you see it from where you were standing?
ANGELA STANFORD: I saw it reappear from the fairway, but had no idea it was that close until I got on the green.

Q. Yeah. When you hit the shot, not the tee shot on 16, but after you hit the first pitch shot that was down by the hazard that came back, did you have to slow yourself down? It appeared as though you said, Okay, let's take a breath here.
ANGELA STANFORD: You know, these hills here are a lot steeper than they look. I knew when the ball started coming down, I thought I was in trouble, because when it starts rolling down the hill out here it keeps going.

On the first chip I asked my caddie, What do you think? I can hit it out to the left and we can probably make bogey, or I can try to pull this shot off and try to make par.

I think he wanted me to go to the left, but I thought, No. I've worked on this shot. Believe in something. Try it. Hit it. I didn't pull it off and it hurt, but it was, what, the third chip that I hit that was really good.

Eventually I was going to hit a good one.

Q. What did you do between finishing 18 and winning?
ANGELA STANFORD: I had to go to the bathroom. I mean, honestly, there is not -- I just had to go for a few holes. I just needed to go to the bathroom. That's the honest truth.

By the time I came back outside -- and I knew it would happen pretty quick. I told everybody I would come back and sign autographs. It was a nice way to stay occupied.

I wasn't rooting for people to miss it. That's not what I wanted. I think as golfers you sometimes worry about that. You don't want to root against people. I remember someone telling me one time, You have to put yourself in the position. Somebody has to be there. Just put yourself in the position and whatever happens, happens.

That's what I kept telling myself. I put myself here. Whatever happens, happens. It was nice to just sign autographs. The nice big screen, that was helpful.

Q. What was the first moment when you thought, Hang on, I'm actually going to win this?
ANGELA STANFORD: I kept asking my caddie -- well, when I found out Amy had about 40 feet on that green for par I thought, There is a chance maybe. Because if you're putting up that ridge it's a hard putt. You don't know how hard to hit it and it's the end of the day.

Then when my caddie told me she was past the hole I thought, It breaks a lot and she was going to have to kind of hit it. And in those moments, I mean, I was thinking that over my putt on 18. You're shaking so much that it's hard to hit something hard.

I just wouldn't let myself go there because I was already crying anyway, so...

Q. What would your message be to Amy having played so well all day?
ANGELA STANFORD: You know, Amy and are I are both Christians. And I know Amy. I was reading some of her comments. She's very content in life. Everybody wants to win. When you're out here you want to win.

But days like today, I mean, I can only imagine just the gutted feeling she had on 18. But she has plenty of time. She'll be back.

THE MODERATOR: Any more questions?

Q. That putt on 18, did you know where you stood at that point? And afterwards looked like you started to cry. Tell us about the emotions, what you were feeling then.
ANGELA STANFORD: I thought if I could get to 13 -- because I did not expect Amy to double at all. I thought there was a chance if she didn't hit the fairway you could make bogey.

So I knew I probably needed to get to 13. I mean, when I walked up I saw exactly where I wanted to hit the putt. I thought about Shady Oaks. You know what? I've done this a million time at Shady Oaks. Just got to get it going and let the slope take it.

I hit it exactly where I wanted to. I think that's when I started crying. I was like, Man, it doesn't matter what I do, I'm never going to catch one of these.

Again, I'm not thinking that Amy is going to do what she did. Nobody does. I thought I had lost at that point.

Q. What are you thinking now that you're a major champion? Solheim next year?
ANGELA STANFORD: Honestly I'm thinking of all my family and friends at home. These people have been through -- I can't tell you how many texts I get. One night, Go get it. Good luck. Next one is, Well, maybe next time. You know, so there has been a lot of that.

People have loved me through it all. They don't treat me any different if I win or lose. Sure is better to win though.

So I hope that they are enjoying wherever they are right now. I mean, all over the country and the world all my people, fans and friends, family, I hope they're having a great night.

Q. Solheim?
ANGELA STANFORD: You know, that's a long ways away. I helped my position today. (Laughter.)

Q. I think it was at Sebonack where you were brought in and asked about being the best player that hadn't won a major. That was 21 majors ago. How does it feel to have that monkey off your back?
ANGELA STANFORD: It's relieving. Then again, I thought I was good enough, but the results kept showing something else.

So it's nice to not be in that category anymore.

Q. I know you're a bit emotional now, but I'm sure you're going to celebrate eventually. What is a typical Texan celebration? What do you say or what do you eat? What do you do?
ANGELA STANFORD: Lots of Mexican food. Hopefully, you know -- I don't know. I mean, obviously I would love to do something at Shady Oaks. I really don't even know where to start.

I just think I'm one of those people that -- what did they do to the Stanley Cup this year? It went everywhere.


ANGELA STANFORD: So this thing may go everywhere with me for a while. I'm going to stare at it for a long time.

And because of those people that I was telling you about. I want them to enjoy it too.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
ANGELA STANFORD: Yes, but I don't think I can say that. Maybe I'm filling it with Evian.

THE MODERATOR: Any further questions? Last one from me: We talked a few months ago maybe about how when you signed up for the tour and traveling the world and going everywhere, it was not what you signed up for when you started.

Now you're a major champion in France.


THE MODERATOR: So did you see this coming at all?

ANGELA STANFORD: No. No. And I've always said, When I signed up for this tour I think we left the country maybe three times. So 2001 to 2018, first off, if you would have said, You're going to be 40 when you win your first major I would've laughed. I would've though, No way. It's going to happen before.

And if you would've said it's going to happen in France, I would have been like, Is there a tournament in France?

So that is a testament to this tour, a testament to Mike Whan and his team and to Franck and their team here and how they had a vision.

You know, as much as I have a hard time getting on airplanes, it's pretty special to have those moments on 18 today. I just couldn't believe how much they were clapping for a missed putt. You know, they just enjoy golf. I wouldn't have seen that if it weren't for Mike and the LPGA Tour and for Jacques and Franck. Wouldn't have these moments without people with vision.

I'm grateful to them and grateful for -- the road hasn't always been easy to get to this point, but it was cool today.

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations. The 2018 Evian Championship winner.

ANGELA STANFORD: Thank you. (Applause).

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