Stanford wins Evian Championship

Angela Stanford has won her first major title. (AFP pic)

ÉVIAN-LES-BAINS: American veteran Angela Stanford shot a final-round 68 to score a shock victory in the final major of the season, the Evian Championship.

The 40-year-old finished on 12-under-par 272 and won the US$577,000 (RM2.388 million) first prize by a shot from Amy Olson (74), Mo Martin (70), Kim Sei-young (72), and Austin Ernst (68).

Stanford, who eagled the 15th but then double-bogeyed the short 16th in a roller coaster round, thought she had lost her chance of victory when she failed to make birdie at the 18th.

But Olson, the third round leader, took a double-bogey six at the 18th, hitting her tee shot into rough and then three-putting. It was the first time all day that the 26-year-old American fell out of the top spot.

An emotional Stanford couldn’t hold back the tears after her first victory in one of the women’s majors.

“I really don’t know what has just happened,” was her immediate reaction.  “But I am so happy.”

“Sometimes things just catch you off-guard. Just when you think you’re done, then this happens. It’s pretty cool.”

“As for the finish, I know I can do stupid stuff, but I am also a fighter. This is really unbelievable.”

Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn, the US Women’s Open Champion, collected the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award for the season’s best results over the five major championships.