Stanford does it the right way for LPGA founders


PHOENIX – Angela Stanford looked up over her 17-foot birdie putt at the final hole Friday at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup and suddenly felt a rush of nervousness.

She saw founders Shirley Spork and Marilynn Smith sitting like royalty in special seats perched aside the 18th hole at Wildfire Golf Club.

“I didn’t know they were going to be there, and I looked up and said, `Whoa,’” Stanford said. “You want to play the game right for them. They put in on the line for us.”

Stanford didn’t make that final birdie putt, but she showed the founders something special in a 6-under-par 66 that makes her the first-round leader in a bid to win her fifth LPGA title. After a double bogey at the eighth hole, Stanford rebounded with an eagle, holing out from a fairway bunker with an 8-iron from 142 yards.

Struggling with bouncebacks, Stanford said she's working on be mentally stronger after bad holes.

'You don't usually get results that fast in golf,' Stanford said.

Asked what she told the founders as she left the 18th hole, Stanford said: 'Just thank you. It's hard to say anything else.'