Angela Stanford is a major champion who played on three winning U.S. Solheim Cup teams.
That’s a future captain’s resume.
She is in even stronger position to eventually ascend to the role now.
U.S. Solheim Cup captain Pat Hurst, who will lead the Americans against the Europeans at Inverness in suburban Toledo next year, is making Stanford an assistant captain for the first time. Hurst made the announcement Thursday.
“As soon as Mike Whan asked me to be the USA captain, I knew that I wanted Angela by my side as an assistant captain,” Hurst said. “Her fire, her passion, her determination, her love for the Red, White and Blue, those are all qualities I want on my team. I have no doubt that Angela will be a tremendous asset to the team as we look to win back the cup.”
Stanford’s six LPGA titles include the 2018 Evian Championship.
“My six Solheim Cup teams are among the highlights of my career, and I’m excited to take this next step as an assistant captain,” Stanford said. “I’m really looking forward to being back in the team room, where we’re all after the same goal and we all have the same passion to win the cup. This is an incredible honor and I can’t thank Pat enough for having me on her team.”
Stanford, 42, made her last Solheim Cup appearance memorable, defeating Suzann Pettersen in a pivotal match in the historic American comeback in Germany in 2015. She defeated Pettersen in singles with the United States overcoming a 10-6 deficit going into that final session. The victory seemed larger than the single point it won, because Pettersen was the heart and soul of Europe’s turnaround in a successful run in the series and such a focal point in the contentious nature of the matches that year.
“From start to finish, one of the best rounds I've ever played in my life,” Stanford said. “It’s a memory that's hard to put into words. I kind of get chills thinking about it.”
Stanford’s individual Solheim Cup record is 4-13-3, but her 2-and-1 victory against Pettersen was a defining one. There’s still the possibility Stanford adds to her playing record. She’s eligible to make the 2021 team, with the possibility she could be a playing assistant captain.
Is she interested in that?
“Pat and I talked about that in our initial phone call,” Stanford said. “I told her I'm in a very good place in my life and my career right now. I'm at peace with a lot of things.
“Ultimately, I just want to be part of Team USA. I don't know what that's going to mean in the future. Right now, I know it means I'm an assistant captain and I'm thrilled to have that role ... I'm still a professional golfer, and I'm still going to tee it up and try to win golf tournaments. If I make the team, I make the team.”
Stanford and Hurst were teammates on the American team that defeated Europe in Sweden in 2007. They paired for a 4-and-2 foursomes victory over Iben Tinning and Bettina Hauert.
“Pat took me under her wing from the beginning of my career and I’ve learned so much from spending time with her,” said Stanford. “There’s this ease about her, but she’s still so confident and positive. I loved getting to be her playing partner in Sweden and now I’m so excited that she picked me to be her assistant captain in Toledo.”
In those 2015 matches, Hurst was one of captain Juli Inkster’s assistants. In Inkster’s pod system, Hurst led Stanford’s pod.
“Angela and I are pretty similar in a lot of ways,” Hurst said. “We both have passion for the game. We love the red, white and blue, playing for our country.”