Lograsso gives Stanford boost to make cut

Angela Stanford bounced back from a first-round 78 to shoot 68 Friday at the Kraft.

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Kraft Nabisco Championship

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Angela Stanford stood on the 14th tee at Mission Hills Country Club’s Dinah Shore Course, looked at the snow-capped mountains and allowed her mind to wander. Stanford, a favorite at last year’s Kraft, was in danger of missing a second consecutive cut.

She started this week with a 78, and was even par for the day when she reached No. 14 (she teed off on the 10th hole). Stanford, who missed the cut at last week’s Kia Classic, hadn’t missed consecutive cuts since ’08.

“I thought, ‘If all else fails, we’ll go skiing,’ ” she said. “That’s when I relaxed.”

Stanford had commit to a pro-am here next Monday, so she would’ve been forced to stay in the area over the weekend even if she missed the cut. But she started playing well because she figured she was in a win-win situation. Miss the cut and hit the slopes. Make it and you can keep playing golf.

“I’m glad I have a tee time this weekend,” Stanford said as she left the scoring trailer.

Stanford credited her caddie, Dan Chapman, for keeping her from mentally checking out of the tournament. She was helped by advice from her friend and fellow LPGA player, Angie Oberholser, and her husband, PGA Tour player Arron Oberholser. Angie is at the Kraft; Arron gave Stanford advice over the phone last night while Stanford cooked dinner.

Stanford’s 68 was the second-best round posted Friday; only five players broke 70 in the second round. She made four consecutive birdies on Nos. 17 to No. 2. She is tied for 32nd at 2-over 146.

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Kyle Lograsso, 7, helped Angela Stanford make the cut at the Kraft. (File photo)

It was a good sign for Stanford, who'd made just two birdies over her previous 54 holes.

Last year, Stanford finished in the top 15 in four starts prior to the Kraft, including a victory at the SBS Open. This came after she closed ’08 with six consecutive top-6 finishes, including two victories.

Stanford’s also got a boost from her standard bearer, 7-year-old Kyle Lograsso.

Lograsso has become known for his charity, the Through Kyle’s Eyes Foundation, which raises money for retinoblastoma, the most common eye cancer in children. Lograsso had to have his left eye removed because of the cancer. He’s also a promising golfer, who played in the Kraft pro-am each of the past two years.

When Stanford arrived at Mission Hills’ 10th tee Friday, she saw the black ‘6’ next to her name and told Lograsso, ‘Let’s turn that into a red number.’

After Stanford’s four consecutive birdies, Lograsso said, ‘Just keep doing what you’re doing.’ ”

Her round could’ve been lower if she’d followed that advice. She played her final seven holes in even par, including a missed 3-foot birdie putt at No. 9.

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