Stanford Wins First Major Title
In her 436th start on the LPGA Tour, Angela Stanford captured her first major victory at the Evian Championship. Sunday, the 18-year Tour veteran came from five-strokes back with a final round 68 to win by one stroke ahead of Amy Olson, Austin Ernst, Mo Martin and Sei Young Kim.
“I'm grateful,” Stanford told Golf Channel after her round. “God is funny. He catches you off guard just when you think that maybe you're done. It's amazing.”
Sunday’s closing stretch wasn’t without drama. Stanford closed eagle, double bogey, birdie, and narrowly missed a putt for birdie on the 72nd hole to jump ahead of Olson, the overnight leader. Instead, Stanford watched and waited for a playoff. But when Olson made double bogey at the 18th hole, Stanford earned the outright win at 12-under par.
“I know me very well and I did a bunch of stupid stuff, but deep down I'm a fighter, I'm a grinder, and I've always been that,” Stanford said.
Stanford’s victory is her sixth on the LPGA Tour and came in her 76th major start.
Jutanugarn Takes Home Rolex Annika Major Award
Ariya Jutanugarn took home the fifth edition of the Rolex Annika Major Award, named for major champion Annika Sorenstam. The Thai won the U.S. Women’s Open and recorded top-5 finishes in the ANA Inspiration and Ricoh Women’s British Open to win this year’s award.
“I watch Annika since I was young,” Jutanugarn said. “She my idol as always. I really like look how she doing and I really want to follow her footsteps.”
Olson Records Best Major Finish
The week came to a disappointing conclusion for Amy Olson, who slept on the 54-hole lead at the Evian Championship. Olson held steady for much of the final round, but failed to hit the accelerator as Sei Young Kim and Angela Stanford eliminated the two-stroke lead Olson held at the start of the day. Olson maintained a one-stroke lead heading to the 72nd hole, where she needed par to win. But a wayward tee shot and second shot into the rough put Olson in a tough position to save par at the challenging par 4, 18th. The American settled for a double bogey at the last to shoot a final round 74 to finish T2 for her best finish in a major.
“It's disappointing to finish like that, but I had a great week,” Olson said on Sunday. “I have so many positive things to take away from it.”
O’Toole Goes Low
Ryann O’Toole recorded the low round of the championship during Saturday’s third round. The 2011 rookie carded a 63 for her career best round as a professional. Only four players have lower scores in major championships than O’Toole’s 63. She carded a 69 on Sunday to finish T4 for her best finish in a major.