Angela Stanford patient to the last
Angela Stanford hit from the first tee at 10.09 and holed her last putt eight hours later to shake off Jenny Shin at the third play-off hole, the 414 yards 18th. All told, she had had four putts for what was her fifth LPGA Tour victory, the first of them a six-footer at the 72nd.
In the immediate aftermath, the 34-year-old Stanford thought of home and the people who had helped her throughout her career but, after so long a day, all she could say amid her tears was a mighty relieved, "It's so cool."
Stanford, Shin and Katie Futcher, co-leaders on Saturday night, were a hole away from home when the mother and father of all electrical storms struck and play was suspended for an hour and a half.
At that point, Shin was shaping for victory. The 19-year-old was 12 under to Stanford's 11 under and was dripping with confidence. Yet her lack of experience was such that everyone worried for her over the break, especially when she would have known that if she had only played a little faster, she could well have had her first win in the bag
When they returned, she made a six via the jungle on the left and Stanford a five to pave the way for what was a four-way play-off otherwise involving Shanshan Feng and Na Yeon Choi
Feng dropped out at the first extra hole and Choi at the second to leave Stanford and Shin to go it alone at the third time of asking
It was Shin's second shot which did the damage. It fell away short and left and she was left having to chip from the actual putting surface to avoid a grassy indent. Earlier in the day, England's Karen Stupples had holed with her wedge from much the same place but Shin was not so lucky, leaving herself with a three-and-a-half footer
All day, she had putted quite beautifully but now she missed. Stanford, who would have been saying to herself that, by the law of averages, she had to hole a putton that green at some point, duly did
Stanford's golf - she had rounds of 66, 70,71 and 71 - was a model of consistency all week. Though she claims that she is not the most patient of individuals, she was never less than composed over what was a seemingly-never ending last day
As the talented Futcher had said of her earlier in the week, "No one grinds it out like Angela..." Stanford's caddie, too, had stressed the need to keep grinding and, when they had to keep playing the difficult 18th over and over, they realised it would not necessarily take a birdie to win. "It was about making sure you stayed in it, about trying to be the last man standing.
Stanford, the first American to win this prestigious title, could not have been more complimentary about the teenage Shin. "I was really impressed with her demeanour. She's going to have an amazing career.
Yani Tseng would have been kicking herself as she headed to the airport. After tearing to the turn in a five-under-par 31, she was in a share of the lead
The eleventh was her downfall. Though she was lucky enough to get two free drops, one from a plugged lie above a bunker and one from a TV tower, she amassed a six
Coming home, she had chance after chance of getting back on track, most notably at the 15th and 16th, two easy birdie holes for one of her length and strength. She made lacklustre pars at both and then missed the tiddler at the 17th which would have given her a spot in the play-off.
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