Golf

Solheim Cup victory takes Angela Stanford to another golf level

Former TCU star Angela Stanford provided a crucial victory on the final day to lift the U.S. over Europe in the Solheim Cup.
Former TCU star Angela Stanford provided a crucial victory on the final day to lift the U.S. over Europe in the Solheim Cup. Star-Telegram

Standing for The Star-Spangled Banner before Saturday’s TCU football game gave Angela Stanford chills.

And not because the temperature had finally dipped into the 70s.

“To hear the national anthem, I always get chills. But now I get to represent that,” Stanford said Saturday as her Horned Frogs began their 50-7 demolition of Texas. “I got to put on those colors. That’s just something I’ll never, ever take for granted. It’s just cool to listen to the national anthem and have those memories.”

Angela Stanford was a four-time All-American at TCU.

Stanford’s sixth — and possibly last — turn on the United States’ Solheim Cup team will be remembered for both controversy and the Red, White and Blue’s improbable comeback.

The Americans beat Europe 14  1/2 to 13  1/2 last month in Germany.

“It was probably the most fun I’ve ever had on a golf course,” Stanford said. “I know we never stopped believing. We got to Sunday and got fired up there at the end, and people just went out and played. In the end when we won, I’ve never been that happy on a golf course.”

Stanford played a big role in the rally as the U.S. dominated singles to make up a 10-6 deficit. The TCU and Boswell High graduate bested Suzann Pettersen, the source of a morning storm that nearly cast a shroud of poor sportsmanship over the entire event.

The dispute centered over a putt that the Americans thought was conceded during the morning four-ball session. Pettersen said the putt had not been conceded, essentially giving Europe a victory in that match.

It was nice that she came out and apologized, but I’m one of those people that believes your character is shown in the moment.

Angela Stanford

That was all the motivation that Stanford and her teammates needed.

“Everything that happened that morning was kind of unfortunate, but for the American side, it got us fired up,” she said. “I knew that the emotion of playing Suzann and everything that had happened was only going to carry us so far. Suzann is one of the best players in the world, and I wanted to show up and play.

“I told my caddie when I walked out to the putting green, ‘You know what, it’s my day today.’ I went out and tried to keep her down. I never wanted to make her feel like she had a chance.”

Stanford won 2 and 1, setting up Paula Creamer to win the final match and end a six-year Solheim drought for the USA. Pettersen has since gone on a media apology tour.

“It was nice that she came out and apologized, but I’m one of those people that believes your character is shown in the moment,” Stanford said. “For her to come back and apologize is nice, but I just think in the moment they should have made it better then.

“I know she was trying to do whatever it takes for her team to win, but it could have been 9  1/2 to 6  1/2 . What’s the difference in 10 and 6, and 9  1/2 and 6  1/2 ? I think in the end she realized it hurt her team.”

Stanford, 37, had the Solheim Cup with her during a quick stop home. The five-time LPGA Tour winner isn’t sure how much longer she’ll keep representing the Stars and Stripes at international events.

“I said I would play through the Olympics and see what happens in 2016,” Stanford said. “I didn’t think I would play another Solheim. I was kind of going into this one thinking it was my last one.

“The kids are too good these days. It takes a lot to make a team, so I don’t know. I’ve always had a carrot out in front of me. I feel the major is the one thing that’s been elusive to me. After this Solheim, I’m OK. I feel pretty proud.”

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