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Stanford's impressive day puts her in lead
November 09, 2012

Angela Stanford -11, Rolex Rankings No. 19
Inbee Park -9, Rolex Rankings No. 4
Cristie Kerr -8, Rolex Rankings No. 15

Angela Stanford followed-up a first-round 6-under 66 with a second-round 5-under 67 to take solo lead of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco.

Stanford hit an impressive 12 fairways and 16 greens to catapult herself to a two-stroke lead over three-time LPGA Tour winner Inbee Park.

Stanford, who was the winner of the inaugural Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco in 2008, recorded six birdies and one bogey during the second round that including a blistering 4-under par 32 on the opening nine.

Stanford, who notched a victory at this year’s HSBS Women’s Champions, is looking to record her sixth career LPGA victory.

Always a fan favorite at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco, second-round leader Angela Stanford was welcomed with quite the ovation after signing her scorecard.

As Stanford began to proceed down the long line of adoring fans waiting patiently for autographs, the crowd began changing “Angie, Angie” for the winner of the inaugural 2008 event.

“I haven’t either so its kind of fun,” said Stanford. “I think this week is so much fun because it’s so relaxed, and it’s so laid back. Seems like, you know, when things like that happen, it means that the fans are having fun. So that’s good.”

While there are still two more rounds to go this week, a win would make Stanford the event’s first repeat winner and according to her, etching her name on the trophy for a second time would have significant meaning to the Texan.

As the second to last tournament on this year’s schedule is underway at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco, the Rolex Player of the Year race is heating up. Coming into this week, Stacy Lewis currently holds a 58 point lead over Inbee Park forcing Park to win the remaining two events and Lewis finish worse than T8 this week and T10 at next week’s CME Titleholders.

Park, who was paired with Lewis the first two days in Guadalajara, Meixco, took a glance at the Rolex Players of the Year standings after last week’s Mizuno Classic and discovered she had virtually an impossible task ahead of her.

“I mean, after last week, I kind of looked at it, and then, I mean, it’s really almost impossible to catch Stacy,” said Park. “I play with Stacy the last two days and she was playing really great. I think it’s almost impossible for the Player of the Year. I’ll just give my best and just see what happens. I mean, Stacy’s playing great, too so, I think it’s not going to be easy.”

The three-time LPGA Tour winner is determined to go out without a fight however as she currently stands at 9-under this week and is a mere two-strokes behind current leader Angela Stanford. Playing in only her second time in Guadalajara, Mexico, Park thrives on the support she gets from her fans and is honored to play in Lorena’s prestigious tournament.

“It feels great to be here,” said Park. “I mean, I love the people here and especially playing in Lorena’s event, it is a big honor. Especially playing in the same golf tournament with Lorena. I feel very honored and hopefully someday I’ll be like her.”

Cristie Kerr might have shot a second-round 3-under 69 on Friday but according to the 14-time LPGA Tour winner, it was quite a struggle.

“My swing was almost perfect yesterday and anything less today would have been less,” said Kerr. “I played really well today, managed the game really well but didn’t hit it quite as pure. It kind of felt a little, I don’t know if it was a little tired, but it felt a little shaky out there today, not from a nerves standpoint but it felt different.”

Kerr has not won an LPGA tournament since the 2010 LPGA State Farm Classic but after a two year hiatus from the winner’s circle, she feels confident it won’t be long until she returns to her old winning ways.

“I feel like it, I just have to stay relaxed and do my thing with him out there,” said Kerr. “I just have to not get too high when good things happen and not get too low when you have to keep moving on. I just have to keep doing that. It’s going to happen again, it’s just a matter of when.”

In the middle of this season, Kerr made a caddy change and reunited with long-time caddy Worth Blackwelder. The change seems to be paying off as Kerr finds herself in position to win again as she stands three-strokes behind current leader Angela Stanford.

“It’s been great,” said Kerr of having Blackwelder back on the bag. “He’s a really calming influence over me and keeps me positive. He’s a great caddy.”

Tournament hostess Lorena Ochoa shot a second-round even-par and currently stands T19. Michelle Wie followed-up a first-round 6-under 66 with a second-round 3-over 75 to fall into T12.

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