She is physically present at Old American Golf Club, but Angela Stanford is the first to recognize that her heart is 50 miles west in her hometown of Saginaw, Texas, a suburb of Fort Worth, with family.
Stanford’s mother, Nan, has battled invasive lobular carcinoma breast cancer since 2009 and the disease recently reared its ugly head. On the course, the Volunteers of America Classic defending champion is eager to chase a second consecutive win in The Colony but off the course, her family is calling. And for Stanford, family is everything.
“I think it’s probably time to be at home a little more with my mom,” said Stanford, a seven-time LPGA Tour champion. “Honestly, only going to play a handful more this year. I’ll play here, [The Amundi] Evian Championship, AIG Women’s Open, [Walmart NW] Arkansas Championship and we’ll see what happens. It’s time for me to be more available.
“I think (mom) would be pretty mad if I just up and quit playing. The thing that she always says is, ‘I’m going to work, so you’re going to work.’ I’m not going to retire but I’m going to be more aware of her schedule and her appointments, just be more available.
“She doesn’t want me around all the time just yet. She wants me to play. Even my dad said, ‘She loves to watch you play, so don’t take that away from her just yet.’ Going into next year, I’m going to take all this one month at a time.”
Nan will get her wish this week. Stanford’s face is plastered all over tournament signage promoting the event and the TCU alumna is sure to get plenty of love when coverage starts on Golf Channel tomorrow afternoon.
“It still feels like a dream. Driving in, I was kind of like, ‘Did this really happen?’ You pinch yourself a bit. The memories came flooding back,” Stanford said. “My reflections [since winning in December] have been how grateful and thankful I am that I got to win at home and if it’s going to be my last win, I’m very blessed that it was at home.”
Stanford will begin her title defense at 8:26 a.m. CT on Thursday off No. 10 tee alongside playing partners Jin Young Ko and Gaby Lopez.