Angela Stanford shot a Sunday round of 68 to claim her maiden major title at The Evian Championship, the season’s fifth and final major. The win was the 40-year old American’s sixth career title and first major.
Stanford entered the finale in France five shots back of overnight leader Amy Olson, and after shooting a 3-under 68, it appeared the Texas native had come up just a bit short, as Olson – despite struggling for much of the day, still clung to a one-shot advantage through 17 holes.
The 26 year old Olson, though, was unable to hold on, and carded a double bogey-6 on the par-4 18th to hand the title to her compatriot, Stanford, who closed eagle-double bogey-birdie-par en route to a four-day score of 12-under par, one stroke clear of Olson (74).
“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,” said a stunned Stanford, who became the first American to win The Evian Championship since it became a major in 2013.
“I mean, God is funny. He catches you off guard just when you think that maybe you’re done. It’s amazing.”
With her first victory in over six years (2012 HSBC Women’s Champions), Stanford earned $577,500 – the biggest payday of her impressive career.
Americans Mo Martin (70) and Austin Ernst (68), alongside Korea’s Sei Young Kim (72), were the others tied with Olson at 11-under par.
THE EVIAN CHAMPIONSHIP
FINAL TOP 10
Pos-Player-To Par-Final Rd
1. Angela Stanford -12 (-3)
2. Austin Ernst -11 (-3)
2. Mo Martin -11 (-1)
2. Sei Young Kim -11 (+1)
2. Amy Olson -11 (+3)
6. Jeongeun Lee6 -10 (-2)
6. Ryann O’Toole -10 (-2)
8. Jessica Korda -9 (-3)
8. Inbee Park -9 (E)
10. Lydia Ko -8 (-4)
10. So Yeon Ryu -8 (-3)
10. Brooke Henderson -8 (-3)
10. Katherine Kirk -8 (-2)
10. Mi Hyang Lee -8 (-2)
Height: 5′ 6″
Birthdate: Nov. 28, 1977 (age 40)
Native: Fort Worth, Texas
Residence: Saginaw, Texas
College: Texas Christian University
Fairways: 38/52, 73.1%
Greens: 53/72, 73.6%
Putting/GIR: 87, 1.64
Par 3s: +1 (4 Birdies, 12 Pars, 3 Bogeys, 1 Double Bogey)
Par 4s: -9 (14 Birdies, 18 Pars, 3 Bogeys, 1 Double Bogey)
Par 5s: -4 (1 Eagle, 4 Birdies, 2 Bogeys)
Total: -12 (1 Eagle, 22 Birdies, 39 Pars, 8 Bogeys, 2 Double Bogeys)
STANFORD: IN GOD’S PLAN
‘You looked at me and said, I’m 40. I can’t believe this is me right now.’ Can you describe your thoughts about when you thought you would get to this mountaintop, if you thought you would get here?
ANGELA STANFORD: You know, I remember my first time being in contention was in 2003 at the Open. I was in a playoff. I didn’t know at the time how close I was because it was only my third year and I had know idea what I was doing, to be perfectly honest.
As the years go on and you have all the near misses you think, Wow, am I ever going to get that close again? I had that moment on 16 tee today. Okay, you know, here you are again. This is as close as you’ve been in I don’t know how long. So now what? We saw what happened.
So, you know, like I said, I’ve always believed that God has a plan. That doesn’t mean I haven’t doubted Him, doesn’t mean I haven’t doubted that plan. But deep down I was with Him one way or the other.
I was prepared to retire and not be a major champion. That was okay, because it was His plan. Like I said, He has a sense of humor.