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Angela Stanford leads LPGA Founders Cup

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By JOHN NICHOLSON
The Associated Press
Sunday, March 20, 2011; 1:17 AM

PHOENIX -- Angela Stanford plays for keeps no matter the stakes.

"I play with the guys at Shady Oaks in the 1 o'clock and I'm out there trying to beat them - and they're out there to enjoy the weekend," the 33-year-old Texan said Saturday after opening a three-stroke lead in the play-for-free LPGA Founders Cup.

"It always matters to me."

Instead of paying the players, the tournament honoring the 13 tour founders is donating $1 million to charity - half to The LPGA Foundation and its LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program and half to the top-10 finishers' designated charities.

Stanford is playing for her own foundation.

"I don't care if it's for money," she said. "I don't care if it's for money for my charity or for the LPGA Foundation. I don't care what's it's for. If you tell me it's official and I have a chance to compete to win something, I'm going to show up."

Her foundation provides scholarships for children from families affected by cancer. The winner will receive $200,000 to donate.

"It would do wonders for my foundation," said Stanford, a four-time winner in 10 full seasons on the tour. "We could help a lot of kids a lot faster than I thought we would. There's a lot on the line in that respect."

She shot her second straight 6-under 66, playing in the morning before the wind picked up a bit on the partly cloudy, 80-degree day at Desert Ridge.

"Surprised, to be perfectly honest," Stanford said about her low score. "I didn't feel quite right this morning. I had kind of a weird warmup session."

Long-hitting Brittany Lincicome was second. She followed her opening 67 with a 68, holing an 8-foot par putt on No. 18 just before dark.

"I just putted lights out," said Lincicome, Stanford's U.S. Solheim Cup teammate. "My driver let me down today, but my putter saved me."


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© 2011 The Associated Press

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