'Fighter' Stanford wins major at 40

American golfer Angela Stanford, posing with her Evian Championship trophy, says she is glad that her mother got to see her winning yesterday - and mum might be the first to drink out of the trophy.
American golfer Angela Stanford, posing with her Evian Championship trophy, says she is glad that her mother got to see her winning yesterday - and mum might be the first to drink out of the trophy.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

She dedicates shock Evian Championship victory to her cancer-stricken mother

EVIAN (France) • Angela Stanford has attributed her Evian Championship victory to how she has always been a "fighter", at the same time dedicating the win to her cancer-stricken mother.

The 40-year-old American clinched her maiden Major title after carding a final-round three-under 68 to win by a shot at Evian Resort Golf Club in France yesterday.

Her 12-under 272 was enough to beat a group of four tied on second - compatriots Austin Ernst (68), Mo Martin (70), third-round leader Amy Olson (74) and South Korean Kim Sei-young (72).

"I have no idea what just happened. I'm grateful. And so happy for everybody at home, everybody that's all cheered for me and never gave up on me," an emotional Stanford, who picked up a US$577,000 (S$789,000) cheque for the win, said in an interview amid her tears.

"I mean, God is funny. He catches you off guard just when you think that maybe you're done. It's amazing.

"I know myself very well, and I do a bunch of stupid stuff but, deep down, I'm a fighter... and I just kept telling myself, 'You've just got to be who you are. And you got to just fight'."

It was the sixth LPGA Tour victory for Stanford and her first since 2012, when she won the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore.

Her win also comes 15 years after she finished runner-up at the US Women's Open - her previous best at a Major.

When asked about what the win meant to Stanford and her mum, she added: "I'm glad she got to see it. She might be the first to drink out of the trophy."

Stanford, who eagled the 15th but then double-bogeyed the short 16th in a roller-coaster round, thought she had lost her chance of victory when she failed to make birdie at the 18th.

But Olson took a double-bogey six at the 18th, hitting her tee shot into rough and then three-putting.

It was the first time all day that the 26-year-old fell out of the top spot.

"It's disappointing to finish like that," said the third-round leader, whose previous best finish in an LPGA event was tied for seventh in the Lotte Championship in Hawaii in 2014.

Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn, the US Women's Open champion, collected the Annika Rolex Major Award for posting the best results over the five Major championships this season.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 17, 2018, with the headline ''Fighter' Stanford wins major at 40'. Print Edition | Subscribe