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July 28, 2004

Meg Mallon


DANA VON LOUDA: We'd like to welcome Meg Mallon winner of the U.S. Women's Open and BMO Financial Canadian Open, back-to-back weeks. Currently she is second on the official Money List with over $1 million. Meg, if you'd like to open up with some comments about your recent success the last couple of tournaments.

MEG MALLON: That was just so last month. Needless to say, it's been a whirlwind for me this past month, and I haven't had much of a break, on a six out of seven week schedule here, so I'm just playing to pace myself a little bit.

Obviously I feel good about my game now. I played well last week at Evian and would like to carry that into this week. It is a golf course that I look forward to getting back at. The last time I played, I missed an about a 2 footer, I went to tap in and missed it and sent said, oh, well, found out that I had missed the cut by one shot. So I have a little bit of a revenge on this course, I guess to get back. The course is in the best shape, better than the last time we played even. I was talking to Richard today that condition wise, it's the best conditioned course out of the four majors that we've had this year. It's just in beautiful condition. Looking forward to seeing how it holds up in the tournament.

Q. Se Ri just talked about the harder side of things on the golf course. Can you talk about this?

MEG MALLON: Yeah, it's a very difficult game, very challenging, this is my 18th year on TOUR and I've seen it all. I appreciate it at this stage of the career, I know how fleeting it can be. When you play well, it just makes it that much more rewarding. It's a combination of factors. I've been hitting the ball fairly well all year and really struggled with my putting. Changed my putter at McDonald's and fortunately it kicked in the at right time a couple of weeks later at the U.S. Open, and the Canadian Open was just amazing putting. Probably some of the best putting I've ever had in my career, no 3 putts, and just those little mistakes, I was missing two, three shots an around and out here you can't give away two or three a round; that's what I was doing. My confidence was there, it was just very discouraging and it fell in into place and took off with it because I knew what to do.

It's an old putter, it's an Odyssey Rossi 2. I had been using a Ping V60, middle V60 for over a year. I didn't feel bad over it. I just was developing a bad history with it, so my coach and I decided, let's change the look of the putter, because I don't discourage putters easily. I'll stick with them for a long time. That was kind of the last straw, so let's just look at something new, and since I'm not, you know, associated with any golf manufacturers, I get the pick of the last. And at McDonald 'sI just looked over that Rossi and just felt good over it and changed the grip and tweaked a little things.

Q. What did you change in your grip?

MEG MALLON: Just to a softer grip, the grip on the putter, just for the size and the feel. For whatever reason it started to click and come together and it was a lot of fun. It was a good time for it to happen.

Q. Can you describe the feeling you have over those 8 footers?

MEG MALLON: I may miss some, but at least now I know I'm making some, so it's not and then that carries over to the rest of your game when you know you're making putts.

Q. Can you tell us the secret to putting well?

MEG MALLON: I wish I could. I wish I could follow it up and tell you, because truly a combination of factors, and repetition, routine, trust, getting the speed right, certainly a lot of hard work, and sometimes then it doesn't even come together then. I'm sure that's what Se Ri was talking about, because no one works as hard as she does, and I'm sure she's quite frustrated. If she keeps doing that, it will come back to her.

Q. I�d like to ask you about another player, if that�s ok? What strikes you most impressive about Annika?

MEG MALLON: The longevity of this incredible streak that she's had. I don't think any golfer has ever done this in the history to the level that she's played at. You've seen Tiger go through it, even Karrie a three year stretch, it was amazing, but this has been six years or something. That in itself, I can't think of another, even in the Jack Nicklaus era, he finished out of the top 20 quite a bit and this is incredible what she's doing. I think because it's looking to easy to everyone, they are not appreciating how great it is, and that's what's so amazing is that she makes it look so easy. It's a thing that we all know how hard it is.

Q. What�s your explanation for why she�s so successful?

MEG MALLON: Incredible mental strength, discipline in that every athlete would envy, I think in any sport, how she's maintained that. Incredible work ethic. It sounds simple, but she has accomplished all of those things, amazingly well for a long period of time. I mean, we're all human beings, and we do have our tendencies to go through ruts and she just has not allowed that to happen, and that's incredible. Like Lance Armstrong's streak, same thing, it's very comparable to that.

Q. Thank god she�s never had cancer.

MEG MALLON: Well, that didn't kick start her career like it did his, I guess.

Q. Is it how she is on the course?

MEG MALLON: It's the way she works her way around the golf course. It's the very low percentage of mistakes that she makes, or that she does not make and I love how fast she plays. She's one of my favorite pairings, and that should be a lesson to every kid and sports psychologist in the whole world; it can be done.

Q. How has your confidence been after your two wins? Has it helped recently?

MEG MALLON: It has. I think at Evian it helped. I didn't play the greatest golf the first day, but I knew I was playing well so it wasn't like I stressed about having a high score, and that's a good place to be in.

Q. You feel confident this week?

MEG MALLON: Not overconfident by any means. It's a golf that you have to pay attention to and I like that, I like that you have to think your way around, you have to know golf shots, you have to hit it strategically to play a great round of golf and I'm just really looking forward to it. I love playing golf over here because of that. It's such a challenge to it and it keeps my head in the game and that's always a good thing.

Q. Are you happy to be here this week instead of any other course?

MEG MALLON: I enjoy the challenge of all those courses, quite challenging. The last time we played, we had a good deal of wind and rain, even though the forecast is good, you can never trust that. Every shot you have to pay attention to out here.

Q. You have been on Tour for 18 years, do you ever get fed up with it?

MEG MALLON: Oh, yeah, from the first year on. It's a very hard game. It's very frustrating, but I also know at this stage of my career that you need to take a break when that happens, and it's not going to go away. And I have fortunately that history behind me, so I know when the breaking point happens, when to step away for a little bit.

Q. Planning your schedule, do you plan on playing 6-7 weeks in a row?

MEG MALLON: I knew this was the heart of our schedule. Even from McDonald's through this event, that was the heart of our schedule, and it was in an eight week period, so you have to find your game and get yourself ready and prepared for that stretch. I looked that we actually have a week off in our schedule, which is it really nice so you don't feel like you're missing an event, either. I'm going to take two weeks off after next week. I'm playing in Toledo, Ohio next week but then take two weeks off.

Q. Are you feeling tired more mentally or physically?

MEG MALLON: Mentally, definitely. Normally I go home after, like Pro Am and have a little rest. But today I have extra activities you really have to pace yourself and make sure you don't get overly involved mentally in what's going on because tomorrow is the most important day of the week. And I don't want to be not prepared. I want to be prepared for that. I want to be ready for that. I don't want the field to be ahead of me on day one mentally.

Q. What do you do when you are on a break?

MEG MALLON: When I'm home or just when I'm on TOUR? Oh, when I'm home, well, you know, six out of seven weeks, I'll be gone from my home, so there's a lot of things to do at my home which is great, but it's not anything that wears me out mentally. It's taking care of all the mail and taking care of all the things that your house requires and phone calls and laundry and just great no brainer stuff; cooking at home. And I'm a huge sports fan so I'm really looking forward to catching back up with my basketball teams and everything that's going on back in the States.

But, you know, I have a very active family and there's always a lot to do when I go home.

Q. You don�t have a club contract?

MEG MALLON: It doesn't bother me, but it bothers me for women's professional golfers. I think the golf manufacturers in the golf industry have not been incredibly supportive of the LPGA players and even women golfers worldwide. It's very frustrating when you see you watch the men's qualifying school in November, and the first thing they are saying is people are throwing money at you right and left, some golf manufacturer, and our tour can't even get a bonus pool from any of the manufacturers.

I've had wonderful contracts over the years, but I feel sad for women's golf that they don't recognize what a great product that we are and they don't use us enough, because I guarantee you only about one percent of the golfers population could hit what Tiger Woods hit. But I bet you about 70 percent of the golfing population using our equipment, and that's just perception over reality. I'd like to see that change before my career is over.

Q. You�ll have to play a really long time.

MEG MALLON: Well, I hope not.

Thanks, you guys.

End of FastScripts.

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