In a field filled with past ShopRite LPGA Classic winners and 2004 event champions, Stanford will have her work cut out for her. Four 2004 tournament champions will be among the field of 144 at the Marriott Seaview Resorts Bay Course.
Recent Rolex First-Time Winner Jennifer Rosales leads the way, along with Cristie Kerr, Sherri Steinhauer and Karrie Webb. Also looking to win this years tournament are past ShopRite LPGA Classic champions Juli Inkster (1986, 1988) and Michelle McGann (1997).
Other notable Tour players who will be vying for the $195,000 first-place paycheck this week include Laura Davies, Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, Natalie Gulbis and Kelli Kuehne. Tour rookie Aree Song will be on hand as she continues to battle Shi Hyun Ahn for the lead in the race for the 2004 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award.
After winning here, Stanford had a great end to her 2003 season. The week following the ShopRite LPGA Classic, she tied for second after an 18-hole playoff at the U.S. Womens Open. She also qualified for the U.S. Solheim Cup Team and finished the season ranked 17th on the ADT official money list.
So far this season, Stanford has made 10 out of 11 cuts. She tied for fifth at the Kellogg-Keebler Classic two weeks ago and tied for fourth last week. She is 20th on the ADT official money list with $208,909 in earnings.
A wire-to-wire winner at the 2003 ShopRite LPGA Classic, Stanford tied her career low round of 65 during the first and final rounds of the tournament. Stanford finished with a 16-under-par total, three shots clear of Becky Morgan. Morgan entered the final round two shots back and shot a 66 on Sunday to finish at 200 (-13). Stanford is only the second player to become a Rolex First-Time Winner at the 54-hole ShopRite LPGA Classic after Janice Moodie did so in 2000.