Stanford ties Canadian Open record


August 11, 2006

Angela Stanford thought about playing a conservative shot from a tricky downhill lie in the 14th fairway. Instead, she talked herself into an aggressive play and ended up hitting the best shot of the best round of her life.

Stanford deftly faded her 7-iron approach around a large greenside tree to set up a tap-in birdie, the last of her eight birdies in a bogey-free 64 yesterday that matched the lowest round in the history of the Canadian Women's Open in London, Ontario.

"I think I've learned over the last couple of months when I start being conservative, and I don't just hit the shot that I'm feeling I should hit, that's when I get into trouble," said Stanford, three strokes ahead after the first round. "And my gut was telling me, `Hit the 7. Cut the 7 in there. Put a little more spin on it.' "

The 64 in ideal conditions on the tree-lined London Hunt and Country Club course tied the record set by JoAnne Carner in 1978 at par-73 St. George's in Toronto when the national championship was called the Peter Jackson Classic. Ten other players have shot 64s in the event, with Nancy Scranton doing it twice and Dawn Coe-Jones accomplishing the feat at the Hunt Club in 1993.

Cristie Kerr, coming off a second-place tie Sunday in the Women's British Open, matched Vicki Goetze-Ackerman and Jee Young Lee at 67.

Stanford, the former Texas Christian University star who followed her 2003 Shoprite Classic victory with a memorable playoff loss to Hilary Lunke in the U.S. Women's Open, hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation and 12 of 14 fairways.

"I just gave myself some chances and the putts were going in," said Stanford, who holed two 12-foot birdie putts and also made a 10-footer.

PGA International -- Mathias Gronberg scored 13 points to lead Stuart Appleby, Stewart Cink and 2001 champion Tom Pernice Jr. by two and Danny Ellis, Jeff Brehaut and Patrick Sheehan by three at Castle Rock, Colo. Gronberg, 36, who grew up in Stockholm, Sweden, and lives in Monaco, finished ninth at Castle Pines in 2004. His best finish on the PGA Tour is fourth at the Shell Houston Open this year. David Howell was at 12 and threatening Gronberg's standing atop the leadership until he teed off into the water and double-bogeyed his final hole, costing him three points. The modified Stableford scoring system used at the International awards two points for a birdie, five for an eagle and eight for a double eagle. One point is subtracted for a bogey, three points for a double bogey or worse.

TPC of Scandinavia -- Annika Sorenstam shot a bogey-free 7-under 66 in Stockholm, Sweden, breaking the record on her home course to take the first-round lead. Sorenstam, who grew up near the Bro-Balsta course, had five birdies and one eagle, which came on the long par-5 sixth hole. "It's probably my best round in quite a while," said Sorenstam, the official host of the tournament.

European PGA Dutch Open -- Christian Cevear and Anders Hansen shared the first-round lead in Zaandvoort, Netherlands, both shooting 6-under 65s despite wind and rain.

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