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January 16, 2020

Angela Stanford

Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Q. Angela, nice 6 under par, bogey-free opening round to start 2020. You said you haven't done one of those in a long time. How did it feel to get back in the swing of things and do that?
ANGELA STANFORD: It felt good. I feel like I've worked pretty hard this off-season. It's nice to see that result right off the bat. It's golf. I understand it's not always going to be like that, but out there today, it felt good just to know you've put in a few hours and it's paying off early.

Q. In your pre-tournament press conference, you talked about getting ready for a marathon later this year. How symbolic is it that you're training for a marathon and golf is such a marathon, not a sprint?
ANGELA STANFORD: I think that's part of it. Mentally, I think -- even today, I kind of hit a wall that I told my caddie I feel like I'm kind of checking out a little bit. You just have to kind of get back into that process. You have to get back into -- I think last year I was really results oriented. I don't think it matters if it's good or bad. I think, if you get results oriented, it's not always good. So I'm really, really trying this year to kind of stay in the moment and kind of do the process, and running a marathon is a lot like that. If you're thinking about mile 26 when you start, you're in trouble.

Q. How has the training for the marathon impacted you on the course? Especially now kind of getting into that today.
ANGELA STANFORD: I'll let you know on the fourth day of the week, but I feel like this is about as strong as my legs have been in about ten years. We ran four miles yesterday with Cydney Clanton. I told her, it's like training with a gazelle. I mean, like long legs. She's just kind of jogging out in front of me. I'm like never run with somebody with really long legs.

Q. When you won Evian 2018, you started off 72. A little different start here, obviously a different tournament, but you're going up against the LPGA's best, and to have that kind of start today, how proud are you and anxious now to keep it going?
ANGELA STANFORD: It's going to be a fun challenge because I haven't been able to do this in a while. Again, to kind of test the things I've been working on. It's not always going to be perfect. It's funny, people are like, oh, you just have to beat 25 people. Yeah, they're 25 winners. It's not just beating a random 25 people. I know I've got to bring it all week. Let's see if I can.

Q. Putting up scores like this could be a Forrest Gump thing where other players are all going to start running with you.
ANGELA STANFORD: Well, don't run with Cydney. No, it was a lot of fun because I usually am all by myself when I run. She was great. We kind of went down a street that had water on both sides, and I'm kind of looking over my shoulder because, yeah, we're in Florida. I kind of look over at her, and she says, just make sure it's a zig zag. I'm like Gator bait because I'm already running out of steam.

Q. So when you hit the wall today, how did you push forward?
ANGELA STANFORD: In the past, I think I would have just kind of checked out and got frustrated and would have said, well, you know, it's typical. I'm just kind of -- but I told my caddie I need to be more aware of this. I don't know if it's just me or if it is when you get older, it's hard to hold your focus for an extent. I felt it the last couple of years, where I'm like, man, I played nine really good holes and then I kind of hit a wall in the back nine.

I never want to say it's an age thing, but it is different. When you're 25, I think your attention span -- these kids, you know what I mean, they can hold their focus. So today when it started to kind of set in, I'm like, all right, what are you working on in your golf swing? Let's just kind of reel it back in. Stop thinking about the finish line. I've noticed that in my running. When I get into my last mile, I'm thinking about being finished instead of you have to keep doing what you're doing right now. Just little things like that that helped a ton.

Q. For someone like Inbee who has played for so long, like you have, what has impressed you the most about Inbee's ability to come out and keep doing it year after year?
ANGELA STANFORD: One, she's a special talent. There's a God given gift there, but she obviously works at it. The thing that I like about her is that she just does her own thing. Like she has her husband and they do their deal, and she seems like she's content. She doesn't need a lot of people around her. It seems like, from the outside looking in, that she has a plan, and she's going to do it her way. That's what successful people do.

And what I read, she wants to try to make the 2020 Olympics. I'm like great. I mean, that's a shoe in because successful people, when they put their mind to something -- and she's done it. She knows how to do it.

Q. When she was (indiscernible), how formidable is she?
ANGELA STANFORD: I've learned, in my 18 years of searching for a Major win and finally getting one, it's all putting. When you get to this level, people are hitting it -- I mean, some hit it longer. Some hit it more solid, but you've got to make a putt. So when you come across somebody like Inbee that makes everything she looks at -- because it's not going to matter how she hits it. She's going to get it either up and down or drain the 20-footer for birdie.

Q. People tend to think of the big hitters, but when Inbee is really on her game, is there something intimidating about seeing her on the board?
ANGELA STANFORD: Yeah, because you know she's putting well. No disrespect at all. I don't think people fear her because of her ball striking. I'd be okay if people didn't fear me for my ball striking if I made everything I looked at. I mean, to say that your short game wins Majors, that's hard to beat because a lot of people -- take somebody like me. Like I've always -- my confidence comes from my ball striking. I had a year last year where I hit it terrible and I had no chance. If she has an off day, she's still going to make three to five birdies. So it's a big deal.

Q. With this format, as much as you love Major League Baseball, as many Major League Baseball players that are around here, are you kind of like motivated or inspired to show off what you do with this kind of group?
ANGELA STANFORD: No, because once I kind of got out there doing my deal -- I mean, it was -- I hit a pretty cool shot on No. 8 today, and Phil Nevin was like that was pretty good. Okay, that was cool. But I never really thought about it.

Q. What was the shot?
ANGELA STANFORD: I missed the fairway right on 8, and then I hit this huge putt around the trees, so like six feet, with a big old clump of mud on my ball. That was cool.

Q. He was with the Astros for a while?
ANGELA STANFORD: I think a stint, but he said his longest time was with the Padres.

Q. Did you get to talk to him about baseball?
ANGELA STANFORD: Yeah, it was great. I have to be careful. I know, like we're out there, I don't want someone asking me a million questions about golf, even though you're nice about it. He was fantastic. And I said to him one time, like, okay, I hate to ask. He's like, no, it's fine. All right. He was great.

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