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Stanford Rite On for First Win

GALLOWAY, N.J. -- Angela Stanford used a Sunday 65 to cruise to a three-shot victory at the ShopRite LPGA Classic. Stanford finished at 16- under-par 197 for her first career victory on the LPGA Tour.
'I still don't know what has happened,' said Stanford, who won $195,000. 'I guess when I get a chance to get on a plane and reflect a little bit, it might hit me. I think maybe when I talk to my parents, it might hit me then, too. But I wish I could remember some of the round, I heard it was great.'
Becky Morgan provided the challenge late in the final round. She closed with a 5-under 66 to finish alone in second place at 13-under-par 200.
Only one shot stood between Stanford and her closest competitors at the start of Sunday's final round at the Bay Course at Seaview Resort. Determined, the Texan rocketed out of the gate to keep her challengers at bay.
'I knew I had to get my composure,' said Stanford. 'It was the same feeling I had teeing it up in my very first golf tournament. I can't believe I'm here, I can't believe this opportunity is in front of me.'
Stanford opened with a birdie at the par-4 first. She ran home a long putt for birdie at the second and followed that up with a remarkable approach to the par-5 third that stopped three feet from the hole.
The 25-year-old converted the short eagle putt to increase her lead to four strokes. Stanford cooled off from that point on, however, but the fast start was all she needed.
With several players closing in, Stanford putt the tournament out of reach down the stretch. She ran off back-to-back birdies starting at the par-5 16th for her breakthrough victory.
'I feel better if I'm on the top and I get to make pars, because I don't think I'm always the player that makes a ton of birdies and comes from behind and catches somebody,' said Stanford.
Morgan bogeyed the par-4 second but responded with a birdie at the very next hole. She then added a birdie at the eight to make the turn at minus-9 before catching fire on the back side.
The 28-year-old from Wales birdied the 11th and ran off a pair of birdies starting at the 15th. With Stanford out of reach, Morgan hit a sand-wedge to 15 feet at the last for a birdie and outright second.
'Makes me very confident and I got a good run the last couple of weeks,' said Morgan.
Juli Inkster, who is a two-time winner of this event, posted a 3-under 68 to tie Lorie Kane for third at 12-under-par 201.
Kate Golden was three shots further back at 9-under-par 204. She was followed by Nabisco Championship winner Patricia Meunier-Lebouc and Heather Bowie at 8-under-par 205.
Last year's champion Annika Sorenstam, who also won this event in 1998, closed with a 1-over 72 to finish in a tie for 14th at 5-under-par 208. It marked the first time that Sorenstam has finished outside the top-10 this season.
Michelle Wie carded a 1-over 72 in her final round to finish at 2-over-par 215.
'I was pretty happy with my game today,' said Wie. 'It was just that if the putts went in, I would have got a low score. But it didn't, so I guess that is how golf is. Bad days, good days, okay days.'
The 13-year-old collected two birdies and three bogeys in her final preparation for next week's U.S. Women's Open.
Related Links
  • Bio: Angela Stanford
  • Full-field scores from the ShopRite LPGA Classic
  • Full coverage of the ShopRite LPGA Classic