Opposite tactics drive both Wie, Stanford to success
Beyond the course: LPGA's Angela Stanford
PITTSFORD, N.Y. –- Michelle Wie pulled out driver only twice at the Wegmans LPGA Championship on Saturday. Her reward: the day’s low round of 4-under 68. The round pulled Wie back to even-par for the tournament, seven strokes behind lead Morgan Pressel, who teed off in the afternoon.
“I hit a couple more drivers yesterday which cost,” said Wie. “And on this golf course, even if you have 5-iron, 6-iron in, you just have to be in the fairway.”
A torrential amount of rain fell on Thursday at Locust Hill, canceling the first round. The field completed 18 holes on Friday and are scheduled to complete Round 2 this afternoon. With sun forecasted for Sunday, officials are hoping for a 36-hole finish.
“I actually am very grateful that I have the rest of the afternoon just to do nothing,” Wie said.
Angela Stanford’s approach to Locust Hill couldn’t be more different. She hit driver everywhere, hitting 11 of 14 fairways each round. Stanford’s stats the first two rounds are nearly identical. In addition to hitting the same number of fairways, she hit 27 putts both days and 11 greens. Her average driving distance each day: 230.5. It’s no surprise then that Stanford shot 71-71.
“I’m getting off the tee here better than the past,” said Stanford, who missed the cut here last year and finished T-30 and T-25 the two years prior.
The decision to hit driver off the tee doesn’t mean Stanford doesn’t worry about the rough. Every time she steps in it, Stanford said she thinks about players who have sustained long-term injuries from the penal stuff (i.e. Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer).
Stanford said she doesn’t mind 36-hole days. In fact, dating back to her college golf days at TCU, she can think of only one poor round on a day that called for 36. Stanford said those marathon finishes help her stay patient and focused.
One of the best players on tour who hasn’t won a major, Stanford passes Saginaw Drive, Saginaw Dry Cleaning and Saginaw Plaza on the drive into Locust Hill. Having grown up in Saginaw, Texas, she refers to her quick-draw action as the “Saginaw Sling.”
If signs mean anything in this game, more than a few point toward the gritty Texan.