Trying to get it right at British
Texas native and TCU graduate Angela Stanford, 35, has won five LPGA titles and nearly $8 million in her career. She has five top-10 finishes in 2013, but she’s struggled at the Women’s British Open, with four missed cuts and no finish higher than 13th. Could this be the year she turns that around?
You know, people have said this to me over and over: “You should be great at the British, you hit it low.” But I’ve always had a hard time playing over there. It’s the only major tournament I haven’t had a top-10 in, so people tell me that’s all the more reason to go. But when you’ve been at it so long -- I’ve been going since ’02 -- it gets harder and harder.
I don’t think I have adjusted well to how firm the ground is over there. My ball releases quite a bit anyway, but I’ve never gotten comfortable there. Even last year, I felt like I had my best chance [at a top 10], but I lost it in the last four holes of a 36-hole day.
I actually wasn’t even going to play the British this year, but I decided to recently. I feel I have a pretty good handle on what I’m doing with my golf swing now. I’ve got a good feel for how to keep it off the left side of the golf course. The times I’ve been over there, I’ve tended to miss it both ways; now I’m only missing it one way. I think that helps because it allows you to be more aggressive on your lines and targets.
And just being a competitor, I don’t know how to quit or give up. Much as I don’t like to go over there, part of me still wants to go and get it right.
As for the Old Course at St. Andrews, that “awe” factor will not be as large because we have seen and played it [in 2007]. Maybe that will help, too -- that it will just be another golf course, and I’ll be more focused. But it is pretty cool to say you get to play at the home of golf, so there is still a little bit of “wow” when you get there.
Inbee Park is bringing a lot of attention to our tour now, and it’s great. I really hope people are watching. She has an opportunity to make history by winning her fourth consecutive major. It’s tough, though, because as a golf fan, I want to see her do it. But as a competitor, I want to beat her.
I am nervous about playing in the British because of all the negatives I drag with me over there. But if I take a step back, I’m really excited about it. I’m trying to appreciate it and know that this may be my last one, and it may be my last Solheim, too. Nobody ever really knows what the future holds. So I’m excited about trying once more, and then going back to Denver to practice for the Solheim right after the British.