Angela Stanford says “It’s time to relax”
Angela Stanford is ready for a nice, long break from the LPGA Tour.
Earlier this season, the 35-year-old announced that her event schedule would be a little lighter this year. Although she has contended in nearly every event so far, Stanford says it’s time to take a break as she’ll skip the six-week Asia swing to enjoy some time at home in Fort Worth, Texas.
“I just felt like I needed some time to work on my game when the weather is good here,” said Stanford.
“I want to take a step back and regroup, try to get a little stronger. I thought it would benefit me in the long run if I didn’t go to Asia. Just getting on an airplane and going to the other side of the world just was too much for me right now.”
For this devoted Texas Ranger fan and Texas Christian University graduate, the time-off will give her ample time to catch up on other sports she loves; something she couldn’t do during the five-week Asia swing last fall.
“I love college football and I love baseball,” said Stanford. “I hated that I had to wake up in the middle of the night or early in the morning and have to turn on my computer and to see a score or some highlights. I get sad missing some of those things sometimes.
“So, I’m excited to watch a few games. I’m also looking forward to going up to the University of Oklahoma for my first TCU away game.”
Stanford has been one of the more consistent Americans on the LPGA Tour for the past 13 years. Ranked 16th in the Rolex Rankings and a five-time winner on Tour, Stanford credits her steady career to careful management of her travel schedule and cutting back when she needs to recharge.
With six top-ten finishes this year and explosive performances during each of the Tour’s five majors, Stanford says she is as consistent as she’s ever been.
“I think the older I get and the longer I’m on this Tour, the more I realize that I think any year you can have a great year is always good,” said Stanford. “I have some goals that I have achieved [this year] but, at the same time, I haven’t won. But when I get down to the end of the year I look back and I’m proud of this year, I’m proud of my consistency.”
Stanford also rejuvenates herself by tending to her foundation during breaks on the Tour schedule. She spent this past week preparing for her annual “Let Your Light Shine” Charity Golf Tournament, which raises money to provide scholarships for Texas students whose families are affected by cancer.
The Saginaw, Texas native started The Angela Stanford Foundation shortly after her mother, Nan, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. Just two weeks after hearing the news, Stanford was to participate in the U.S. Women’s Open in Pennsylvania, her favorite LGPA Tour event.
She says that event was a defining moment in her golf career and one that made her realize the importance of taking time off during the season.
“For the first time in my life I said to myself, ‘I don’t want to be here’,” said Stanford. “I didn’t want to play, it just wasn’t important anymore. That’s when I realized there’s more to life than golf. I feel very fortunate that my mom is a survivor and she made it through. But it was during that time I realized that I could have walked away from golf.”
Having experienced that rough patch in her career, Stanford says she still feels blessed to be able to play the game she loves for more than a decade.
“I’ve never taken golf and my career for granted, but now I’ve seen both sides of it,” said Stanford. “Now when I go to a U.S. Open, I know what it feels like to want to be there and I also know what it feels like to not want to be there.
It just changes your perspective and it makes you appreciate things. You don’t know what’s to come later on down the road. I may not get another chance to play in one of these.”
Stanford makes her return in November just in time for the final two events on the LPGA Tour calendar.
“I’m excited that I get those two events because it’s what I want to do,” said Stanford. “Sometimes I don’t get to do what I want to do, but I’m doing what I want to do now. So I’m really looking forward to the rest of the year.”