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July 7, 2003

Angela Stanford


RHONDA GLENN: Ladies and gentlemen, I've seen 27 Women's Opens, and I've never seen a finish more thrilling than that, both yesterday and today, Angela. Just tell us how you feel. You must have very mixed emotions right now.

ANGELA STANFORD: I do. I'm tired. I was standing there thinking, we're going to have to go to No. 13 and play more. And I just -- I was trying to figure out which hole was 13 in my mind, but, you know, it's been a great two weeks. And this week has just been amazing. To get to play with Hilary the last two days. I just think it was great for golf today. I know it probably didn't look good the first nine, but I think the last two days on 18, I think that was just good for golf, I hope.

RHONDA GLENN: How did you possibly pull yourself together after having so many problems on the front nine, what did you tell yourself?

ANGELA STANFORD: Well, I didn't realize how tired I was this morning. And when I'm tired my swing is just awful. And I was hitting it right, I was hitting it left. I'm thinking, you know, if I can hold this together, and figure out what's wrong with my swing, if I can get it back to even, and Hilary starts backing up, then maybe I'll have a shot coming down the stretch. And that's what happened. We made the turn, and I was standing on the tee box on 10 and thought, it's -- that's the great thing you have about golf, you have two nines, you have another start, I have nine holes. I figured out what was going on with my swing on 11th tee box.

RHONDA GLENN: What was it?

ANGELA STANFORD: I'm not sure if this is correct or not, but I think when I'm tired I'm trying to get more out of my swing, so either I'll sway back off the ball and really drop it inside, and my hips get out in front. So I really started thinking about just having a strong right side and really make the turn, and then just swing my arms. And it felt really solid. And I think with that confidence, my confidence in my putting and short game kind of came back, too.

Q. Down the stretch, after the chip in, first how much momentum did that give you, and did you think you were in control there, and then there were a couple of putts, a 15-footer that you missed, did you think that that was maybe the one that cost you?

ANGELA STANFORD: Well, when I chipped it in I thought -- I really thought all the momentum was going my way. I hit a pretty decent shot on 15, made a good 2-putt there, and thought, okay, this is what I wanted, to have a shot on the last couple of holes. And if I can have anything back, I would want that putt on 16 back, because it was inside the hole, all I had to do was hit it firm, and for some reason I didn't and it just leaked out of the hole. You know, the shot on 17, that's just another bad swing. But if I could have anything back it would be that putt on 16, because I think if I would have made that it would have been very different coming down the stretch.

Q. When you say you hoped the 18 the last two days was good for golf, can you elaborate?

ANGELA STANFORD: I think -- you know, I think in any sport people just want to see excitement. And they want to see the dramatic and they want to see the impossible. And that putt today that I made on 18 was impossible. I mean I really didn't think -- we had a good line picked out, we had good speed and all that good stuff, but I couldn't believe it went in. And for people to react like they do, it just looks fun. And I think it's just good that people walk away not remembering the first bad three hours of golf I played, but hopefully they walk away thinking, that was a great U.S. Open, it was a great finish. And it keeps people coming back, I think.

Q. You mentioned yesterday that you had a hard time sort of blocking out some of the peripheral things that are coming into your mind, were those things coming into your mind today, and/or were you able to focus on one shot at a time?

ANGELA STANFORD: Well, it was easy to focus on one shot at a time, because they were all so bad (laughter.) It was easy to actually stand over it, because I had so many thoughts of, okay, maybe I'm doing this wrong, maybe I need to fix this, that to tell you the truth I forget that I was playing the 18 holes of the playoff, because I was just trying to figure out how to hit the ball the way I hit it two days ago. So I didn't really start thinking about it until I pulled to even with her, when we were both at even, then I really started thinking about it was for the U.S. Open. So in other words I kind of got lost on the front nine, in my own little world, looking for my swing.

Q. Last week you went to the final round and went right after the golf course, and sort of put it away early, is that an impossible attitude to have in a U.S. Open?

ANGELA STANFORD: I don't think so. I think you can put somebody away in the U.S. Open by just making pars. I think Hilary's first 6 or 7 holes were pretty amazing today, because she didn't -- when she missed a green, she still got up-and-down. And sometimes par is good enough in this situation. And I think, again, last week, I was hitting the ball so awesome the last day that I could do anything I wanted to with that golf ball and today I just wanted it to find the fairway.

Q. Confidence is such a big thing in golf. Three weeks ago you missed the cut. What kind a golfer are you now, and where do you think the last two weeks will take you in the future?

ANGELA STANFORD: Well, the scary thing is I think I'm the same golfer, which kind of worries me a little bit (laughter.) But the fact that it is so much about confidence, this game. I think when I show up at events now I can walk a little bit taller and just feel better about my game, knowing that, okay, I've done it before. I've played well, I've played well in the biggest tournament in the world, I think, for women. So confidence is a huge part of this game and I feel like with what has happened the last two weeks, I don't take -- if I don't take confidence from these two weeks, I don't know what it's going to take.

Q. You talked about yesterday about being on the bottom, and how it necessarily made you appreciate where you are -- where you were last week, and now where you are today. Now that this two-week period concluded itself, what do you necessarily gain from all of that in the last how many years to get to the point where you are today?

ANGELA STANFORD: Well, that's funny, because I can remember in Rochester, which was the event before shop right, we shot four over the first day, 2 over the second day and I was looking for a flight home, because I had missed the cut. And flying home and thinking, it's never going to happen. I keep doing the same things over and over and had a conversation with my instructor Wednesday of Shop Rite, talking about I feel so far away from winning. I feel like I'm never going to get there. And it is amazing how it can turn around as fast as it can out here. But I do -- I think I do appreciate it more. I hope that -- I think there's a big difference in being cocky and being confident. And I don't ever want to cross that line. I want to take the last two weeks and use it for my own confidence, not walk around like I'm cocky. I don't ever want to be like that. So I want to appreciate it and enjoy it, but I have seen the bottom, and I do know that I could fall really fast.

RHONDA GLENN: Kelly Robbins just said that you were exactly that, very confident, but not cocky.

ANGELA STANFORD: That was nice.

Q. Is this kind of a trademark of yours, digging the hole and then swinging your way out of it? Some players on that front nine might have just kept going downhill, but you sort of kept the resilience I, and before you know it you were back in the match?

ANGELA STANFORD: Since I have the TCU golf coach sitting back there, she always talked about having a comfort zone. There's a point to where, whether it's -- people are comfortable at 1-under, people are comfortable at even, some people are comfortable at plus five. Well, I'm pretty comfortable being a few back, because now I get to just -- I have nothing to lose. I felt like I was the underdog the whole day, which is fine. So I guess it has become kind of a trademark, but I kind of want to change that, I guess. But it doesn't bother me. Like you said, some players would have just said, I'm done. But for me I've been there so many times that I thought I can come back. I feel like I do this all the time. So I think I can come back.

Q. In a normal tournament situation, you can't get so caught up in where the players are doing. But today when Hilary is making so many par save putts, and getting up-and-down from all over, how much does that start to play on your mind, with all the putts that she's making, what did you expect her to do on 18?

ANGELA STANFORD: I did expect her to make the putt on 18. She left the putt yesterday short, so I didn't think she would leave it short. I know what it feels like when you're putting that well, every time you get over a putt you think I'm going to make this. I know she was standing over this thinking, I know I'm going to make this. And the fact that early on she was making so many par-saving putts, I knew that I had to make birdies. I wanted her to keep coming back, and I wanted her to keep dropping back, but I knew at some point she wasn't going to do that anymore. So I felt like if she could fall back to even and I could make birdies to get to even, then I would need to make birdies to win. I didn't think that Hilary would fall to over par today, not with the way she was playing. So I expected that and I knew that I had to make birdies.

Q. What was your approach into 17, what yardage did you have and what club?

ANGELA STANFORD: I had 138 to the front, plus 20, 158 to the pin. I had an 8-iron, very bad 8-iron.

RHONDA GLENN: Would you like to go over your birdies for us, what clubs you hit into the greens.

ANGELA STANFORD: The first birdie was on 11. I think we hit a wedge, 112 to the front.

My caddy is sitting back there, so I'm looking to check. That putt was like 20 feet.

Birdie on 12. We hit wedge off the tee. Hit that putt off the toe, because of the speed, it was so fast, I just wanted to get it started. That putt was only like five or six feet, we better say six feet.

And then the chip in on 14. We had like 138 to the front. And I was unsure about the club. Jeremy liked the 8-iron. I thought choke 7. I'm glad I hit the 8, I just hit it thin. When it took that initial hop it just kept going. But the chip actually -- it wasn't a bad spot to be. I had a good lie, used a gap wedge and hit like a bump-and-run. And I think that was like we decided 30 feet, 25 or 30 feet.

RHONDA GLENN: Did you know your second shot hit the hole?

ANGELA STANFORD: I did not know that. It should have hit the pin.

RHONDA GLENN: How long was your putt on 18.

ANGELA STANFORD: About 27 feet. We were just like a foot off the green, if that.

RHONDA GLENN: Angela, you played like a champion today. And one of these days, hopefully it will be yours.

ANGELA STANFORD: Thank you, it was a great week.

End of FastScripts....

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