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January 15, 2020

Angela Stanford

Lake Buena Vista, Florida

THE MODERATOR: We are here with Angela Stanford, winner of the Evian Championship. Very excited to have you here with us, Angela. Welcome to 2020. I know this is a tournament you've been looking forward to for a while and honestly been looking forward to it for a long while. You weren't able to be with us last year. Talk us through what was going on with you this time last year.

ANGELA STANFORD: Well, I'm very happy to be here. Unfortunately, last year I had a rib injury that it happened in November. It actually happened in Japan. At this point last year, I was just getting to the point where I was finally hitting balls. Now being here and seeing what I missed, it just makes me more mad. I've enjoyed this week, and I've only been here since Monday night.

THE MODERATOR: You're arguably one of the biggest sports fans out there on Tour. This has got to be just an absolute playground for you.

ANGELA STANFORD: Yeah. I thought last night at the party, I thought the player meeting was for like everybody. I didn't know it was just for the celebrities. So I go wandering out there, and of course I'm late. There's nobody in the room, and I asked the bartender, well, where did everybody go? I'm like, wasn't there a meeting? Is he's like, yeah, it's over. I'm like where is everybody? They're out there taking a picture. Oh, no. I go out there and look, and I'm staring right at Justin Verlander, and I'm like wow. I just kind of stopped, and I'm like how cool is this? I turned around and went back inside. I asked the bartender, were there any females in this room? He's like no. Okay. That party wasn't for us -- or meeting.

THE MODERATOR: It's got to be surreal to be out there with Verlander, with Smoltz, with Donaldson, with all these big names we've seen out there and you being such a big baseball fan.

ANGELA STANFORD: I was standing next to A.J. Pierzynski last night and we were standing up on stage talking, and I'm like who's that guy on stage dancing like a mad man? He's like, oh, that's Derek Lowe. Okay. It's just so much fun to see how much fun they're having. That's the cool part. I stopped and talked to Pudge on the way in from the Pro-Am. I love Pudge. They're just so happy to be here and to be playing. It's just so cool to see.

THE MODERATOR: For you, that's got to make it a great way to start the season. Roll back in. You had an extended break not playing in Asia, so a great way to get yourself back into the game this year.

ANGELA STANFORD: Yeah, I just said it to Pudge. He's like, oh, 2020 is going to be your year. I'm like, yeah, this is my 20th season. He's like 20 in 2020. Yeah, I didn't really think about that until now. Okay. So I think it's going to be a good year.

Unfortunately last year -- fortunately and unfortunately. Fortunately, it was my first injury and my first really bad year, and to say that at 41 years old is probably -- I feel pretty blessed by that. But it made me rethink some things. It made me wonder how hard I'm working. It made me realize I have to work harder because these kids are so good today. So I had some time to think about some stuff. So it was good.

THE MODERATOR: Before I open it up for questions, you said you've had some time to think, but you've also had some time to train. You've got something big coming up.

ANGELA STANFORD: So I have a bucket list thing. I wanted to run a marathon. I played just about every sport except soccer growing up because I didn't like to run. And I feel like I'm fairly athletic, and running has always been really hard. So I thought, you know, I didn't feel very strong mentally last year. I felt pretty weak in general. I thought, you know what, I'm going to figure out how to beat this. I have to be stronger mentally out here, and I guess the best way to do that is to train for something. So I'm going to do it. And not qualifying for Asia was a blessing for me at this time in my life. I've always enjoyed going to Asia and playing there, but it was nice to be at home in October.

I think you need like five or six months to train for a marathon, and it's hard to do at a golf tournament. So I'm only playing two tournaments in the span that I'm training for the marathon. So this week and next week, my trainer and I had to work out the training schedule a little bit because I was supposed to have a long one this weekend, and I'm not going to do that. But I'm doing four today if you want to come along.

THE MODERATOR: I'd just hold you up. That's not a good idea. Actually need to progress. I appreciate that, though. Good luck to you. You said it's in March in L.A.?

ANGELA STANFORD: The L.A. Marathon March 8.

THE MODERATOR: We'll keep up with you. Good luck.

Q. What's the longest that you've run so far? And compare how bad it was to anything else you've done previously physically.
ANGELA STANFORD: I did 16 a couple weekends ago. So it was December 28 because I remember I ran -- it was raining. I'm a fair weather runner, by the way. Like it was raining outside. I planned on -- we have a wonderful trainer along the trinity river in Ft. Worth. So I did 14 miles there. So I was like, I'm going to go out and do the 16 miler there. Well, it was raining. So I decided 16 miles on the treadmill, which doesn't bother me because football was on. So I just watch football and run.

My legs have never hurt like that. So I'm nervous about it, but in the beginning of this, there's no way I could have done 16. It's really -- there's so many things I'm taking from this. Like you can't -- in the beginning, you can't think about the long ones. Like you have to do the little runs, and you have to build, and you have to believe that what you're doing is making you stronger for those longer ones. There's so many things I'm pulling golf related from this. It's pretty cool.

Q. Is there a time that you have, a goal time, or is it just finish?
ANGELA STANFORD: There was going to be a time until I started doing these longer runs, and I thought, well, maybe I should just finish. Maybe I should live.

Q. Speaking of that, you had an interesting way to roll into this event. Is there a part of you that ever gets worried about injury skiing or is it just so much fun you just go with it?
ANGELA STANFORD: I've done it my whole life, and I didn't do it the last two years, and I wanted to make up for some lost time. It did cross my mind this time just because it's so close to a tournament. It's funny, I get on the skis -- it was actually Kris Tamulis' husband Jeremy. I get on the skis and get where we're going. I'm going to take it easy. I tell myself that when I start. Jeremy goes flying by me. Instinctively I want to catch him. We get to the bottom, and I'm like I can't ski with you because you're going to go flying by me, and I'm going to chase you every time. So I had to kind of ski away from Jeremy.

But Saturday on the mountain was one of the best days I've ever had on the mountain in my life. It was awesome.

Q. Which mountain was it?
ANGELA STANFORD: We were fortunate enough to ski yellowstone club in Montana. It was pretty cool.

Q. Angela, you went from really as high as you can get in golf, a major championship winner, and then to endure the frustrations of coming through an injury. How has that all affected you coming into this year?
ANGELA STANFORD: I don't feel like I'm one that's ever taken anything for granted because I've always had to work for everything I've done or whatever, but I realize just how blessed I've been. Like you don't realize until it's kind of -- it's always been hard for me, but I just didn't realize that being healthy for 19 years out here is a blessing. I never had to worry about an injury. I never had to worry about my golf swing after an injury.

Beth Daniel and Meg, they were the ones that said, please be careful because you're going to swing it different. Subconsciously your body is still going to react differently, and they were right. I mean, I've just never had to deal with that. Then you start forcing things, and you start -- then doubt sets in. Like at the end of the year last year, I got to get through this because I've taken a shot now to my confidence that I've got to get out of this year. Like I just need to play Texas, I need to survive that, and I need to get to the off-season.

The one thing about not qualifying for Asia is it made me get back to work. So maybe that was -- even talking with my instructor, I'm like my habits were really bad, and I just don't realize it until things get bad, and then you don't have anything to rely on. Like I missed that whole off-season of training, whether you're working out or working on your golf game or whatever. So then when I get into the middle of the season, I don't have a base. Like I realized how important off-seasons are. So I learned a lot.

But very fortunate. I mean, you can't appreciate the good unless you have the bad, and I've never been one to shy away from how bad things can get when you play this game, but I've just never gotten a dose like that.

Q. What would constitute a really good 2020 for you? Do you write down goals at this point?
ANGELA STANFORD: I do. First and foremost, I need a top 20 because last year was the first year in my career I didn't have a top 20. So I think that one hurt the most because I've always taken a lot of pride in being consistent and always having a top 20, top 10, always being in the top 50, 60 in the money, and I just wasn't. So I have some small goals like that. Then I have that outrageous goal of the Olympics. You just never know. So I have a wide variety in there this year.

Q. Was there anyone, when you looked at the celebrity field list, that you made it a point that you were going to go seek out and shake their hand or introduce yourself?
ANGELA STANFORD: Well, I thought so until I got like couldn't move when I saw Justin Verlander. Now I'm like I'm not talking to anybody because I didn't think -- I don't get star-struck, I didn't think, but apparently because I saw him and I was like -- it was just so cool. I'm like that's the dude that like lights people up on the mound.

I think they're all wonderful. I played with Bud Norris yesterday. He was great. I mean, they're just so happy to be here, and they just have so much fun with it, that it's just -- it was just really cool to see that.

Q. When you tell people you're running a marathon, what kind of reactions do you get among fellow golfers?
ANGELA STANFORD: Well, to be perfectly honest, this is the first time I've said it kind of publicly. I've kind of kept it off of social media because I was worried that, if I got to a certain point in the training and I got hurt or if for some reason I couldn't keep doing it, I didn't want to have to say -- but I feel like -- and my trainer said, once we hit January, you're kind of at the point of no return. If you're physically okay and you're mentally okay, then we go.

So I've been very conscious. I had our physio guys look at my stride last year, and they didn't have any problems with my training for something. I've read about it. I'm trying to eat a certain way, not very effectively. I'm finding out pizza is really good for running. Some of my best runs have been after I've had pizza. I don't think a lot of people know, and that was on purpose, but now I'm at a point where I'm going to do it. I mean, I'm all in.

But most people are like, oh, I'm so proud of you. I'm like don't be proud until I'm done. Let me get to the finish line, and then you can be proud. I think Cydney Clanton is going to run with me today. She kind of reached out. I told her. I told Ally McDonald. I told a few. I haven't put it on social media, and I didn't really make it public until now.

Q. Are you going to be running around this golf course? Are you guys staying nearby?
ANGELA STANFORD: I'm going to try to find -- you know, I thought it would be easy to run around a golf course, but then I'm like I don't want to be in anybody's way. It's been really weird. I've learned a lot through this too. I think we're going to run around the Mystic Dunes property.

Q. About being a baseball fan, lifelong Rangers fan?

Q. Do you go to a lot of the games?
ANGELA STANFORD: I do when I can. I've seen all the ballparks. That was kind of my goal when I came out on Tour. I wanted to see all the ballparks.

Q. You have? All Major League Baseball?
ANGELA STANFORD: Yes. And I realized about three years in that we go to the same cities. Like it never occurred to me that we -- I had to kind of branch out. In 2014 I saw the Minnesota stadium, Target Field, that was my final one. Then I've seen the new Braves stadium.

Q. And the Rangers, are you constantly checking scores? Do you follow them closely?

Q. And you told me -- you told me this. You've thrown out the first pitch twice at games?
ANGELA STANFORD: Maybe three. It could be three.

Q. All Rangers games?
ANGELA STANFORD: Yes. I did a Spring Training. So three in Globe Life, the ballpark in Arlington. I feel like I've done three there. I did a Spring Training for the Giants, and I did a Spring Training for the Rangers, I think. All fastballs.

Q. Have you run in any races before?

Q. What was that, like a 5K?
ANGELA STANFORD: Yeah. I've trained for a half, but I never ran it. People tell me I probably should have done a half, but there wasn't one that really fit, and my trainer, he's been great. Dan did the program. He's actually run this marathon. So he's helping me with some of the inclines and some of the points of the run. He's really kind of watching carefully. I feel pretty comfortable doing something, and I'm going by myself. This was kind of a personal mission.

THE MODERATOR: We're all behind you. That's going to be awesome. Can't wait to see how you do. Enjoy.

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