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July 13, 2005

Meg Mallon


THE MODERATOR: We're joined by defending champion Meg Mallon. Thanks for coming and speaking with us.

MEG MALLON: Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: You've had a lot of success in Canada, winning three times. Also it's been a busy stretch for you recently defending three tournaments in four weeks. Talk a little bit about that.

MEG MALLON: It has. I'm not getting my sympathy from my peers that I have to defend three out of four weeks. They're not feeling really sorry for me on that.

But it's been a hectic year this year as far as that goes, which is the good news for me because I had such a good year last year, that creates a lot of opportunities and things to do for the following year. Certainly enjoyed it quite a bit.

My game actually has picked up a little bit the last couple weeks, so that's been a lot more fun, playing a little bit better lately. It's always fun coming back defending your title, especially in Canada because we're always in new venues and that makes it that much more exciting because you have to get to know a new place, new faces.

I was really looking forward to coming up to Halifax and seeing this part of the country that I've never seen before. It's been beautiful so far.

THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and take some questions.

Q. What are your thoughts on the course, how it's played?

MEG MALLON: That's a very good question because I've only played five holes (laughter). I think I handled 7, 8 and 9 really well. We'll go from there.

But it wasn't too different than what happened to me last year actually. I didn't get to play a practice round at all last year and things turned out all right.

I have a very, very good caddie who is a seasoned veteran who has been out on the golf course, you know, recorded all the yardages, done all the right things for me. He'll be prepared for me today. We'll go out there and get to know the golf course.

What I've seen saw far, it looks absolutely beautiful. It looks like a fun design and it looks like you have to be very careful where you place the ball on this golf course.

Q. Your caddie's name?

MEG MALLON: John Killeen. His wife plays on tour, Denis Killeen. Works out well for all of us.

Q. Could you tell us about the event here. A lot of the top names aren't here. You're here and we're glad about that.

MEG MALLON: Thank you.

Q. Is this going to make it a little easier for some of the top golfers that are here because we're missing so many of the big names?

MEG MALLON: Well, actually, what you consider the big names and what's considered to be a little change of the guard this year, you'll get to know a lot of our great new young players that are eager and willing to win that are here this week. Also you have all the top Canadian players here. This is the Canadian Open. So it certainly has a wide variety field. It's a chance for you all to get to know the players that we've known are so good that will certainly show up this week. So it's never easy any week because the competition is so much deeper out here.

Q. You won the Canadian Open three times. Why are you so successful here?

MEG MALLON: I don't know why. Some magic happens when I cross the border. I don't know. I'm very comfortable playing here in Canada I think because the fans are such great golf fans and they're so appreciative. It's so much fun to play in front of them.

I've enjoyed the venues that they have picked over the years. I think they've been fantastic golf courses. I'm glad I've had great success here. I can't tell you why. I certainly have enjoyed it.

Q. What about this week? Do you think you're going to continue with that success in Canada?

MEG MALLON: Well, you know what, I'd like to build on what I've done the last couple weeks. I've struggled in the beginning of the year, probably the most I've struggled in my whole career. Having these last couple weeks played well in The Open, then Toledo, I'm encouraged by that. Kind of take it that way and hope that my game is going on the upswing.

Q. We were talking to the head of the RCGA this morning, talking about the sponsorship problems, how they're trying to find a sponsorship. He really almost painted a picture of desperation, it's going to take somebody to come out of the woodwork at the last minute to save this tournament for next year and beyond. Can you give your thoughts on the possibilities of losing this tournament.

MEG MALLON: Well, I'm more hopeful than that. We had the same situation in 2000 when du Maurier, the tobacco industry, that problem we had. It was the same situation then. We didn't think we would find a sponsor. Then BMO came to the plate and they've been a fantastic sponsor for five years. I'm hopeful the same scenario should happen for us.

This country should have a women's professional golf tournament. They're such terrific golf fans. When I watch The Golf Channel, most of the callers calling in are from Canada. Great fans. It's too important for our tour not to have a presence at an event in Canada.

Q. You mentioned a few moments ago the changing of the guard. Can you elaborate on that and tell us how women's golf has changed in the last few years, what's changed on the tour.

MEG MALLON: Sure. It's actually been fantastic. This is my 19th year on tour and it's probably been one of the most fun years as far as watching how the tour has developed. A lot of great young players have come up that not only have game but have personalities, a lot of drive and passion for the tour. That's just kind of carrying over to everybody else.

It's really been enjoyable this year to see players like Natalie Gulbis, Christina Kim. I can't name them all off the top of my head. But certainly it's been a fun presence out here. You'll see it this week. You'll see the energy on that golf course.

It's really put an energy and a lift into our tour.

Q. Beyond the personalities, what is changing in women's golf from a technical perspective?

MEG MALLON: The golf equipment has changed dramatically. I think it's helped the game more for the women, especially more for the women, than for the men. I know for me the yardages between 170 and, say, 220, it's made a huge difference technology wise. I was hitting 2 and 3 irons earlier in my career, I'm hitting 11 woods or rescue clubs, so much easier to hit. Makes a big difference in the game.

Certainly getting longer. I haven't gained much distance, but the younger ones are. They don't have the history of hitting with a wooden club. They take the new metal clubs and swing really hard at it. That's been fun to watch. Brittany Lincicome, there's a great player, hits it a long way. She's a lot of fun to watch.

Then the athleticism, you're finally seeing young athletic girls turning to golf rather than the normal basketball and softball or something like that. They're seeing a future in golf. You're seeing a lot more athletic young women coming up and playing golf, which is fun to see.

Q. A lot of talk this week about having trouble getting into here. How did you get in?

MEG MALLON: I made the veteran move of the week. I flew in yesterday. No problem. I got all my luggage. I walked right into the shoot out and everything was great. I don't know if I had some intuition that maybe Sunday and Monday weren't the best days to fly in here. Certainly yesterday I had no problem.

Q. Change of commissioner. Ty Votaw will be leaving. The LPGA has named a female commissioner.

MEG MALLON: I've only briefly met the new commissioner. I've been able to read up on her quite a bit. Certainly excited about her credentials and what she's going to bring to our tour with a very strong marketing background and sales. It's going to be fun to see her develop and what her plan is for our tour.

To back up on that, it's a credit to Ty that we had over 400 applicants for the job, that he made the job appealing. The last time we went for a search for a commissioner, as you know, we had two people, and the one guy wouldn't give up his membership at an all male club so we got the other guy. It's changed a lot in 10 years. That says a lot for what Ty has done to our tour and the place he's put it in.

I think what I like about what the search committee said is they didn't get the best female, they got the best candidate and she happened to be female. I think that speaks a lot for the search process.

Q. You talked earlier about the rough spot you had at the beginning of the year. I know you have attributed some of that to the distractions of fixing up your place in Florida.

MEG MALLON: Yeah, That kind of moulded into one. There was a lot that happened to me in the off season, but I would never blame my golf for that. When that article had come out, they kind of put they said, "What did you do in your off season?" I said, "Well, as a matter of fact, my back went out, we had these hurricanes, I had to redo my place and everything." They kind of moulded that into me not playing well this year.

I would never use that as an excuse, to do that. But it was an interesting off season for sure.

Q. With the storm that blew through last week, how is your place, it's fine.

MEG MALLON: It was on the west coast. The Weather Channel is my favorite station because I have to watch it. I saw Emily is going south of Florida, so I don't have to worry about that one, too, which is good, considering I just got my place done. It would be nice to have a little break this year. You had a little hurricane up here.

Q. Little.

MEG MALLON: Category 2, right? I wondered when I was flying in here why there were all these flat patches all over the place. Juan did a job here, didn't he? It's no fun.


MEG MALLON: Have fun this week, you guys. Thanks.

End of FastScripts.

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