Stanford finally wins first major title
September 19, 2018
This is how it had to end.
With one last agonizing trial to endure.
With one last punch in the gut leaving her to stagger off the 18th hole feeling as if she squandered yet another chance to win a major championship, maybe her last chance.
It all made sense.
That’s what Angela Stanford so eloquently explained through raking sobs of joy with her name being inscribed upon the Evian Championship trophy.
At 40, Stanford understood how the emotional upheaval she battled over the last four holes defined more than this day.
It defined her career.
“I know myself very well,” Stanford told GolfChannel.com. “I make a lot of bad swings, a lot of bad decisions, but, ultimately, I had to be me.
“I’m a fighter and a grinder, and I told myself `Let’s just keep fighting to the end.’ Whether it was going to end up good or bad, I wasn’t going to give up.”
That’s the attitude Stanford says she sees in her mother, Nan, who is amid a second battle with breast cancer. Stanford’s backstory made this victory all the more emotional. She won knowing her mother was back in Saginaw, Texas, watching the finish on TV with her father, Steve.
“My mom continues to blow me away with her attitude,” Stanford said. “Yes, she has her good days and her bad days, but she is a fighter.”
Stanford called her mom twice after winning, the first time as she walked to the trophy presentation. They couldn’t get much out the first time.
“I was crying; she was crying,” Stanford said.
They FaceTimed after she had the trophy in hand.
“I showed her the trophy,” Stanford said. “She may be the first to drink from it.”
Stanford has watched her mother sick in the mornings going though chemotherapy, but she marvels at how she bounces back. She could see the excitement in her parents during their video chat.
“I think they were starting the party without me,” she said.
It’s a party a long time in the planning.
“Eighteen years in the planning,” Stanford said.
Stanford arrived at Evian 0 for 76 in the majors.
She broke through all the scar tissue and doubt that built up in those disappointments.
“As the years go on, and you have all the near misses, you think, `Wow, am I ever going to get that close again?’” Stanford said. “For the longest time I thought I was a major winner. I thought I was good enough.
“Not getting it, doubt starts to creep in.”