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Stanford seizes LPGA lead at Ochoa Invitational

GUADALAJARA, Mexico (AFP) –

Angela Stanford won her fifth LPGA title in Singapore in February

Angela Stanford, pictured November 3, fired four birdies in a row on her way to a five-under par 67 on Friday to seize the lead after Friday’s second round of the $1 million LPGA Lorena Ochoa Invitational.

American Angela Stanford fired four birdies in a row on her way to a five-under par 67 on Friday to seize the lead after the second round of the $1 million LPGA Lorena Ochoa Invitational.

Stanford stood on 11-under par 133 after 36 holes with South Korean Inbee Park, the season money leader seeking her third title of the year, second on 135 and American Cristie Kerr another stroke off the pace.

Stanford, who won the inaugural Ochoa tourney in 2008, birdied the par-4 second and began her run of four birdies in a row at the par-4 seventh, following with birdies at the par-3 eighth and par-5 ninth and 10th holes.

She also answered a bogey at the 15th with a birdie at the 16th to stay atop the field at the 36-woman event, the last tournament before next week’s season-ending LPGA Titleholders event in Florida.

“I love the golf course,” Stanford said. “Anytime you feel extremely comfortable on the golf course, you tend to relax. This week is so much fun because it’s so relaxed, and it’s so laid back.”

Stanford, who won her fifth LPGA title in Singapore in February, was hoping to become the first two-time winner of the event, named for the legendary Mexican golfer Lorena Ochoa who retired in 2010.

“Lorena has done so much for golf, especially in Mexico, I would be extremely honored to win her tournament twice,” Stanford said. “Because I do have so much respect for her and what she’s done with the game, I think it’d be pretty cool to have your name on her trophy twice.”

Kerr is just trying to collect her first title since 2010.

“I just have to not get too high when good things happen and not get too low when you have to keep moving on,” Kerr said.” I just have to keep doing that.”

Taiwan’s Candie Kung, South Korean So Yeon Ryu and American Stacy Lewis, ranked second in the world, shared fourth on 137 with South Korean I.K. Kim and France’s Karine Icher another stroke adrift.

Lewis, coming off her fourth title of the year last week in Japan, is in position to become the first US player to capture LPGA Player of the Year honors since Beth Daniel in 1994.

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