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July 6, 2003

Angela Stanford


RHONDA GLENN: How long was that putt you made on the 72nd green?

ANGELA STANFORD: I think it was about 20 feet.

RHONDA GLENN: Was that "Wow"? It had to be "Wow", that you said, when it went in.

ANGELA STANFORD: Well, I said, "Oh, my God." (Laughter.)

RHONDA GLENN: How did it feel, what was it like when that ball started rolling toward the hole?

ANGELA STANFORD: It just seemed like the closer it got the bigger my eyes were getting, and the more real it was becoming. And I'm so glad it didn't turn out of the hole, because it was moving to the left, and I thought, please hit the hole before it goes too far left. And when I saw it disappear I just screamed.

RHONDA GLENN: Any plans for tomorrow? What you have planned going into your round?

ANGELA STANFORD: Well, you know, I think we're pretty lucky to have another shot at this golf course, because I did not play it very well today. I put myself in so many bad spots. And that's the good thing about getting another chance tomorrow, because I.

We won't make those mistakes again.

Q. The way your afternoon went, the fact that you had a shot to tie or at least to have a shot to even come close there on the 18th hole, did it surprise you the way everything sort of fell into place for you, despite the way your afternoon had gone?

ANGELA STANFORD: It did, because I was not playing well. I thought I would play better today. And it was tough out there. But coming down the stretch I knew -- I mean I knew Annika was there, and I felt like if we just kept backing up and backing up, I'm sure she was ready for that. And I was disappointed that -- I was disappointed that I fell back so far that she was in the tournament then. So to have a shot coming up 18 was pretty cool, because I felt like I didn't deserve it at one point, but just lucky to have it. But I'm glad I took advantage of it.

Q. I'm just wondering if you could sort of describe -- I don't know, what happened in your mine, your body, the whole thing, from the whole 18th hole from standing in the middle of the fairway to watching Annika's drama play out, knowing what's been happening with the lead, just the whole swirl of everything?

ANGELA STANFORD: Well, I kind of started thinking, okay, if Annika makes par, I knew Hilary could make birdie, but then it only was -- it was just Hilary. And I could see what she was doing. But I kept telling myself, three solid shots, three solid shots, get a good tee shot, get it in the fairway, hit the second shot and as we were walking up, I could see that the crowd was kind of moved, they shouldn't have been there. So I knew something was going on. And fortunately they told us that there was a ruling. So I kind of walked back and just kind of kept walking around. I didn't want to talk about the shot that we had to hit until we had to hit it. So I think that was good. I pulled out a 6-iron, was swinging that, stretching. So until we had to hit it I didn't want to think about it. And actually hit one of the best 5-woods of the week, because I've been struggling with that club a little bit. I only have to hit it once, but I finally got it right today. And then the last shot was about -- it was 45 yards to the front, 60 yards to the pin, and we knew everything kind of funneled left, so I said to Jeremy, "50 yards? Yes". So I thought 50 yards, I hit that shot all the time. It's just never to try to tie for the U.S. Open. So actually missed it a little right of where I wanted, but right was the spot to miss.

Q. If we walk out there right now and put a ball in that same spot on the 18th green and you putted that thing 25 times, how many times do you think you'd make that putt?

ANGELA STANFORD: You know, actually I think I would make it more than I -- I'd probably miss more than make it. But it was a good putt to have. There wasn't much break to it. The speed was very obvious, it was downhill and fast. So cross that off the list. And really from one side it looked pretty straight. And then from the other side it looked like you had to move a little left if anything. So fortunately, it was downhill and the speed part was taken care of.

RHONDA GLENN: How much break did you allow for, if any?

ANGELA STANFORD: You know, I want to say I played it right edge, but where I think I'm playing and where I'm actually playing can be two different things. But I wanted to start it right edge, half in, half out, because I knew I was going to hit it so softly, that if there were any break at all it would move.

RHONDA GLENN: It was just a feel putt, basically?

ANGELA STANFORD: Basically, yeah.

Q. So much happened on the 18th hole with the last two groups, does that surprise you at all or do you expect that 72nd hole of the U.S. Open?

ANGELA STANFORD: I didn't even know it was the 72nd hole. I didn't expect Annika to do what she did. I didn't expect that at all. And I did not realize that that putt was for bogey. I'd actually looked over into the crowd, because I wanted to know if it was for par, and they said it was for bogey. And I didn't expect that at all. But I knew -- I think Jeremy was upset with me because all day I wasn't exactly focused on just what we were doing. I was kind of -- I was concerned about her. Obviously when the best player in the field is in the field -- the best player in the world is in the field, if you continue to back up, it's just like any sport, if you let a team in that hasn't been in it the whole time, they're going to jump on it. I knew if I backed up far enough she would take advantage of that. And that's why I was so upset with myself. I should have never -- me, personally, should never have given her that opportunity to be in the tournament:

RHONDA GLENN: What's Jeremy's last name.


RHONDA GLENN: Y-o-u-n-g?


Q. What happened throughout the day, obviously you've been solid for almost two weeks straight, what happened to the swing today and what was going wrong?

ANGELA STANFORD: The swing didn't really feel that bad. I think the way we were trying to play shots into greens the ball was releasing much more than I expected, because I felt like we were hitting spots for the most part. But we just -- I think the one thing I learned today is that I need to find the best place to miss it, like the best place to be chipping from or putting from, because I don't think I thought about that. Because I thought, well, I expected to hit every shot perfect and hit them exactly where I wanted to and forgot that it was the last round of the U.S. Open. So there were some funny hops out there we haven't had in the last couple of days or last couple of weeks. And it just seemed like the ball just kept releasing through the greens and not doing what I had in mind. So it wasn't that I was hitting it bad.

RHONDA GLENN: Was there at any time while you were waiting on the 18th fairway, that you wished you had been asked to play through.

ANGELA STANFORD: No, no. I was happy that she was doing her thing and taking care of her business. And I didn't want to be up there when all that was going on. So I was very happy with what was going on.

RHONDA GLENN: Did you have as much fun playing with Hilary as you thought you might.

ANGELA STANFORD: You know, unfortunately I got so focused in on what I was doing that -- but there were times out there that she would make a putt and I was happy for her. And she made the putt on 17, that was huge. So I was happy for her there, because I kind of started thinking, if I'm not going to win this, if I'm not going to be in the playoff, I would like her to be there.

RHONDA GLENN: You are in the playoff.

Q. Angela, can you give us some idea of what it feels like to be playing the way you're playing two weeks straight? What does it mean to you and how does it feel at this stage of your career to be contending for one of the biggest championships in women's golf?

ANGELA STANFORD: That is a good question. You know, it's funny when you're playing in tournaments and you're missing cuts and you're kind of going about things, it feels like forever. It feels like you're never, ever going to make it to a final group. It feels like you're never, ever going to win a tournament. And when it happens you're like, wow, that happened really fast. So I think to get the opportunity to play tomorrow, knowing that I'm only 25 is really cool, because at times out here I feel really old. I mean with 13, 14, 15 years old, and even on the LPGA Tour, everybody is -- if you're not 19 or 20, you're old. So it's neat for me that it's happening when it's happening. And God's timing is perfect, and he -- I've learned so much. And to get to play all four years of college and to be in my third year on Tour and all of this to be happening is really neat for me because I think if you've ever spent time at the bottom, you enjoy the top much more.

Q. A lot of times when players are in a group and they're both playing well, they feel like they feed off of each other. Did you guys kind of -- did the struggles sort of feed off of each other? And the second part, is what was going through your mind as you were watching her putt to win?

ANGELA STANFORD: Well, I think unfortunately our struggles did kind of playoff of each other. I think if one of us would have started playing well, I think both of us would have started playing well. And you know, to make that last putt and to be on such a high, and to realize now I'm in a playoff to win, and then to remind myself, oh, wait a minute, she has to miss hers. That was hard to stand over there and watch that, because I couldn't imagine going from that high to that low in all of, what, two or three minutes.

Q. Since you won last week and since you made that clutch putt on 18, do you think you've got the momentum going for tomorrow?

ANGELA STANFORD: I think so. Obviously Kelly must have had an amazing round today. I don't even know what she shot. Was she the only 1-under par today? There were a couple. That's just an awesome round. Hilary held it together, when she could have gone south. But I think -- I'm excited about tomorrow because I know that I can play better. I know that I can play this golf course much better, and so that's why I'm excited about tomorrow and feel like I have some momentum going in.

RHONDA GLENN: Congratulations, what an exciting finish. Good luck tomorrow.

End of FastScripts....

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