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July 19, 2003

Meg Mallon


MODERATOR: Meg, 65 today. Can you tell us about the round, and then we'll take questions.

MEG MALLON: It started really nice. I made my bad hole with a good save. I believe I made one bogey today, which was a good bogey. Once I got through the middle of the round where I wasn't playing as well and I got it back as well, then it made it fun to have tap-ins for birdies.

Q. That was something there on the side of 17.

MEG MALLON: I know. Well, Vickie hit a hell of a shot there. She hit a long wood in and played a perfect shot. I think hers was more impressive than mine.

Q. Can you talk about your finish with the four birdies?

MEG MALLON: You know, how I played yesterday, I felt like I hit it not as close as that, but didn't make the putt. Today I decided I needed to hit it closer. 15, I hit the 7-wood up to about 15 feet away and had a nice 2 putt there for a birdie. 16 just turned out great. It feels like you're stealing one on that hole when you make a birdie there. I played the hill just right. I guess it almost went in. Probably the key to the next two holes was hitting the drive well. 17 I read the drive well and 114 into the hole. 18, I thought I had a good second shot there. I guess it ended up bouncing straight, instead of coming down the hill. It came out just how I wanted it to and hit a good shot about 4 feet above the hole. That was probably the hardest putt of all the holes I had. It was nice today to knock down the 4- or 5-footers I have that make a difference to making a great round.

Q. Is your mindset different on Saturday night when you are leading a tournament?

MEG MALLON: Yes, it is, to be honest. It shouldn't be, but it is. We should prepare every day to win a golf tournament. It is in your head to have the lead. We're both at 11? Okay. Right now, I think the next closest is 6 under or something like that. It really should be the two of us tomorrow. It's going to be fun. I like to know what the person in the lead is doing. I'm glad I'm playing with her. I'll be thinking about that for sure. It's where you want to be. This is what you play for. This is what you love.

Q. Meg, you have been in contention before. What would it mean to win?

MEG MALLON: This golf course is in my top five favorites on tour, but I've never won on them. I would like to actually win on a golf course that I really, really enjoy playing. Tomorrow it would be fantastic. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have another good day.

Q. What is it that is different when you have the lead? Are you doing anything differently on the back nine when you have a chance to decide the tournament?

MEG MALLON: Focus is sharper, definitely, you're trying to keep it at one shot at a time. It's a big cliche, but it really works. And just trying to hit the shots that you know how to hit and go out there and play, stay relaxed and focused, and I know that's how I've won my other tournaments, and that's how I felt. If I'm in that frame of mind, I'm good to go.

Q. You said you like to know how people are playing, did you know how Hee-Won was doing today? It was a bit of a cat and mouse game.

MEG MALLON: The last six holes, definitely. The pace is pretty slow, so we're kind of right on top of each other. At the end of the day, I can't control what she's doing. I've got to go out and play my game. It's kind of fun to see what she's doing. I found out about 16 in the middle of 17 fairway.

Q. There is a large contingent of Korean players on Tour that are very good. Is there any more pressure playing against one of them with the tournament at stake?

MEG MALLON: I don't know. I don't know Hee-Won Han very well. I know she's a very disciplined, good player. I've played with her a few times. She's got a wonderful putting stroke and doesn't make very many mistakes. I can't control what she's doing out there. If I play my game, I'll do quite while. I know she's not going to go away. She's very sharp-minded, very disciplined, will be there -- I don't think nerves will bother her at all. That's the benefit of being young. When you don't have a history, there is nothing to make you nervous, for sure.

Q. Meg, is it harder for you or for someone in general to concentrate with rounds that are five hours like it's been?

MEG MALLON: Unfortunately it's become the norm out here and we actually played quicker than we did in the last two weeks. I can't stand it. I'm a player that likes to play with some flow. That actually made the pace a lot better for us. They were timed for quite a while today. That kind of helped me. Sitting around waiting a long time is not good. When that group got timed, I was able to get back into a rhythm again.

Q. Why are rounds taking so long to play?

MEG MALLON: We could write a book about why play has gotten so long. So many factors. You're playing for more money now. People are treating it more like a business. That means more sports psychologists and teachers and entourages and everything else has gotten involved. It's become too important, and when you have people on the greens spending three or four minutes with a putt, it's going to back up an entire field. I don't know how we change it unless we send out officials in the first group, which they say is unfair. I think that's the only way we can get things moving and get the fields going. It's amazing how good they play when they're timed, when they have to play quickly. They still play the same golf, if not better, when they get timed. It could be done. It doesn't mean playing quickly means playing poorly. I think it goes hand in hand.

Q. Is this something you have addressed?

MEG MALLON: We address it all the time.

Q. And there is no resolution?

MEG MALLON: I mean, look at the Men's Open, six hours. Everyone says one shot can cost me 250, $300,000. You can't tell them not to concentrate. It's difficult.

Q. Two shots for slow play is a serious threat though.

MEG MALLON: I'm all about that. I say two shots for the whole group. If they can't keep up, give the whole group two shots. It drives me crazy out here, and it drives a lot of players crazy out here. I don't know how we can collectively take care of the problem unless we hire more officials and have them ride along with groups.

Q. When you started your career what was the average time per round?

MEG MALLON: It's hard to say. I can't compare. I have been out there for 17 and a half years, and we always played five and a half hours. In Corning, we played four hours and 15 minutes.

Q. Is there a reason why you think rounds have taken longer to play?

MEG MALLON: It's hard to say. Part of the book I'm going to write with you, Jack, is golf course development. We're playing golf-cart courses. It takes a long time to get around those courses. Sometimes you have to be carted, and that takes a long time. It's nice to play like this where you can actually walk from green to tee, which is 50 yards. Clearly, it comes down to player responsibility and taking initiative and saying, okay, I need to speed it up.

MODERATOR: You want to go over the score card.

(Score card done.)

MODERATOR: Any other questions for Meg? Thanks.

End of FastScripts....

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