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November 15, 2001

Meg Mallon


MODERATOR: We'll do your card last. Talk about your round today.

MEG MALLON: Played really well. My two bogeys were 3-putts. My ball striking was really good. I had to hit a lot of long irons, which you'll see with my birdies. Just, you know, when I had to get up and down, I hit good shots. I hit a couple good bunker shots to get up and down. For the most part, I kept the ball on the fairway. Just hit some really good iron shots. It was kind of fun. I don't know why, but I like playing in the wind. I like the challenge of it. This golf course is kind of a ball-striker's dream because you have to hit in the right parts of the greens. With the wind blowing, it makes it that much more of a challenge. I hope I keep doing it.

Q. (Inaudible)?

MEG MALLON: I only played 18 holes last week with my teacher, then played an 18-hole practice round, 18-hole ProAm. It was a completely different wind when I played it last week. This is a west wind. This is unusual for this part of Florida, I think.

Q. (Inaudible)?

MEG MALLON: Yeah, I think so. I mean, usually tournaments like this where there's limited field, the staff stretches the tee back a bit. If you look at my average, I'm average on tour. I'm the middle driver. I'm going to hit some 4 -, 5 -, 3-irons more so than most of the players, I guess.

Q. (Inaudible)?

MEG MALLON: Well, no. I mean, I have a 3-iron in the back bag. I only had two fairway woods in the bag. Not like I have the LPGA bouquet going (laughter).

Q. (Inaudible)?

MEG MALLON: You know, it's funny. This year I think is my third best scoring average of my career. It's like I shot 70 and 71 every round, but just not low enough to win a tournament, not the 66s and 65s that you need to win golf tournaments. I don't feel like I played bad this year. You know, last year was just, you know, really had a great year last year. In answer your question, yeah, it would kind of put a stamp and say, "You played pretty good this year, even though you haven't won." It would be great to win a tournament to finish off the year.

Q. (Inaudible)?

MEG MALLON: Well, you know, you'd like to beat her. You know if you've beaten Annika, you've beaten the best player in the world right now. And Karrie, for that matter. The two of them, I'd put them side by side as far as how good they are right now. Annika is doing it. You know players that have been through years like that. No matter what you do, everything falls into place. That's where Annika is right now. There's no pressure on her. Her only pressure is what she puts on herself, her own goals. Obviously, she's had to raise the bar herself after eight victories. Good for her for not getting complacent with it.

Q. (Inaudible)?

MEG MALLON: Well, that's a good question. You know, you go out and you want to win golf tournaments. I'd play for five bucks to win atrophy. That's how I've always been. I love to play. You want to go out and win. I dont's say, I'm going to make half a million, that's a complete year. That's not how I look at it. I want to prepare myself to win golf tournaments. I haven't won. I think I've only been in the last group three or four times this year. You just try and do the right things and get yourself into position to win. In that respect, I guess I've had a good year. I just have not won a golf tournament. You know, last year I felt like I couldn't do anything wrong, things were falling into place. I just played really well, played well in the majors, which was a blast for me. Actually, I'm taking this week as something to look forward to next year to kind of set myself up for next year. I like where the majors are. Playing some great golf courses in the majors. I'm basically trying to get a mindset for that this weeks, kind of kickstart it. Actually, what Dottie did last year. She won this tournament, then just played great in the beginning of the year.

Q. Start of next year is a little later.

MEG MALLON: That's fine by me. I actually fried myself last year. This break is going to be very nice.

Q. What are you going to do between now and the first weekend in March?

MEG MALLON: You know, it's like the old days. My first five years on tour, we'd be done in the first week of October, and start the middle of February. That was nice. I mean, every sport has an off-season. It's like golf has turned into a 12-month deal. I think it's not only boring the fans, it's just killing the players by doing that. You're killing your schedule because you have your top players playing all these what they call (inaudible) season events. By the time the real season starts, you have your full-field sponsors saying, "Where are my top players?" They're all taking a break, taking a break. I like our schedule next year. I think that's pretty darn good. I like the tournaments. I like the courses we're playing. I am a big advocate of less is more. You're guaranteed to have your best players playing in a lot more events, supporting more events, which we should do.

Q. What did you do last year after the season ended?

MEG MALLON: I actually played right till the third week of December, then we started the second week of January. The Hyundai matches, I played. Even though there's a couple weeks in between tournaments, you're getting ready for the tournament. It's not like there was ever an off-season for me. We had the three weeks in January where we played, then I gave myself five weeks off. I was absolutely fried.

Q. After January last year?

MEG MALLON: Yeah, after January. So I took two tournaments. We had three weeks, then I took two tournaments off. Now you're going to have players that are going to be so fired up, ready to play. Maybe that's good. That will be good and healthy for us.

Q. (Inaudible) money-making opportunity.

MEG MALLON: Well, it's wonderful. I mean, I went to Malaysia, too. That was hard. It was great. You don't pass those things up. You represent your country. That's wonderful stuff that happens to you when you've had a great year. But in the full scheme of events, I end up taking off a couple full-field events, and that's not good for the tour. The individual events are good for a couple individuals, but not necessarily what's healthy for the entire tour. You can take off of that however you want. The fact of the matter is that you need some time off, especially in golf. Mentally you need to take some time off. In every sport you need to take some time off, either to get your body back or mentally fresh, whatever it is.

Q. (Inaudible)?

MEG MALLON: Yeah, a little bit. What I'm going to do, I'm going to maybe hit balls once or twice a week once in a while and work out. It will be fun. It will be fun to cook at home, to work out, to get into a routine, enjoy that. Also, you know, fall in love with golf again, get ready to play the next season.

Q. (Inaudible)?

MEG MALLON: I'd love to have tournaments in Florida. I live here. It was great commuting last year in the three events. It would have been nice if they were in February. I'd like to see them back. I'd like to see a couple of events back. That was just the nature of what happens in scheduling. I think we should always have December and January off, then start in February, go from there. It would be nice to start in Florida in February, go on to Hawaii, do our West Coast swing. I think the men come here in March. Scheduling-wise, it would be the best way to do that.

Q. (Inaudible)?

MEG MALLON: I'm supposed to find out. I have a feeling they're waiting till next week. This is the end of my contract this year. I don't know whether they're going to resign or not.

Q. (Inaudible)?

MEG MALLON: Doesn't look good, but we'll see (laughter). We'll see.

Q. (Inaudible) sponsorship dollars in terms of clothing and bags. What do you think it will be like now?

MEG MALLON: It is a tough economy. Last year I finished third on the Money List, won a major championship, I didn't get one offer for a sponsorship. It doesn't matter. One way or the other, it's weird. I see how marketing dollars go. They come into golf. They say, "We did golf for three years." They go out and do something else. You're just a product of that, whatever. To keep a light attitude about it, I always feel like I want to play good golf. Whatever else comes along is great. Subaru has been a great sponsor to me. They've used us. I mean, they've used us in advertising. That's all we can ask for, Juli and I. You don't want to go out and drag out people for a couple of dollars here and there to get something on your bag or visor. You want someone that's actually committed to golf and wants to be there. You're right, the nature of the economy right now, it's not good. Why should it be? We're a frivolity. We're not something that's that important. I understand that more than anybody. I've got a sister that works for American Airlines. We have other things going on that it doesn't matter. When you ask that question, I'm not going to worry about it. I get to play golf, and that's great.

Q. So many top five, top six finishes. Next year, is there any single part of your game you'll work at?

MEG MALLON: I think it's putting. I think I've got to get my confidence and (inaudible) back in my putting. That's a difference between whether I win a tournament or play really well. I just have found in 15 years that that's the difference between winning a golf tournament or not, whether you know you're going to make the putt.

Q. A year ago (inaudible)?

MEG MALLON: Yeah. It was going in a lot. It was fun.

Q. (Inaudible)?

MEG MALLON: I like my Michigan colors. I am going to the Michigan-Ohio State game, cheering for Ohio State. Sorry, Greg.

Q. (Inaudible)?

MEG MALLON: That's an excuse to say that I didn't win. Once I let down and took all my time off, it was I thought I'd have the same golf game when I came back, and I didn't. It was a lot of hard work to work it back in there. I lost my golf swing in the spring when I came back. It took me a long time to get the rhythm and groove back in my golf swing. Then I started to play really well again in July and August, the end of the year. Then you run out of tournaments. I did play well towards the end there, but it's just the timing. Nothing fell into place right for me this year as far as standing up to win a golf tournament. Sounds like an excuse, but it's just the way it was.

Q. (Inaudible)?

MEG MALLON: I honestly think it's going to be this time off, to have an all off-season helps you to have continuous good years. You look at Betsy King's career. We'd have the three months off. That whole group, like Lopez, King, Bradley, Alcott, those guys, they had three months off. They would come back and still play the great golf every year, just would dominate. That core group of six or seven players would dominate every year. No one ever dropped off because I think they had time off to relax after having a good year, then get fired up for the next year.

Q. You can't create your own (inaudible) and expect to come back?

MEG MALLON: You lose ground, I guess, if you do. Yeah, you have to take off your own time, take off tournaments. You lose ground.

Q. (Inaudible) everybody comes back and they're kind of even?

MEG MALLON: Yeah. Well, we always start at zero every year anyway. That's always nice. I know a lot of the players are going to play in Australia. They're going to play in the two or three events in Australia. They're not going to have as long as off-season.

Q. You've been out here 15 years.

MEG MALLON: Yes, my 15th year. Do you guys feel old (laughter)?

Q. When you look at how hard the Top 3 players this year work, how difficult is that? Seems like it's not a matter of maintaining how you're playing, but getting better all the time?

MEG MALLON: Right. That's great for the tour. I mean, I love the Se Ri and Annika thing that was happening towards the end of the year. It was good stuff, good golf. I was actually cheering for Annika -- Se Ri to win the match play so it would come down, tighten it up. That's Annika. She's such a strong player. But, you know, (inaudible) in Phoenix, you thought Annika would run away with Phoenix. Se Ri came back and almost beat her when she shot 59. That told you what was going to happen the rest of the year. That's good for our game.

Q. (Inaudible)?

MEG MALLON: I can't say that because I understand it's a family thing. I'm upset if her if something is wrong in the family. Good for her for having her priorities and going home.

Q. Annika appears to be at the top of the leaderboard.

MEG MALLON: It's not when Annika is on the top of the leaderboard. She always is on the top (laughter).

Q. Do you get accustom to that or do you view the situation differently (inaudible)?

MEG MALLON: You know, like I said, she's always there. You know if you have challenged her or beaten her, you've beaten the best, like I said earlier. With Annika, she doesn't make a mistake. That's really, really hard to play against. There's some other players that are really good, that are very aggressive. You'll count on them giving you something here or there. That's what's so tough about Annika. It doesn't happen. She minimizes her mistakes so much that she is really hard to beat.

Q. Does she do that better than anybody?

MEG MALLON: Right now she does, yup.

Q. (Inaudible)?

MEG MALLON: I can't say that because you have Karrie in the field. You have players that are playing well. Lorie Kane is playing well. You have players that are playing well that are up to challenging her. Laura Davies won last week in Japan. I don't know what she shot today. Players like that need to be aggressive, have to keep it going to beat her. It can definitely happen. We'll see. If I don't 3-putt, we'll be all right, too (laughter).

MODERATOR: Can we go over the score card.

MEG MALLON: 3rd hole is a par 5. I hit a 5-wood up green high and pitched down to about eight feet, made that for birdie. 6, I hit a 9-iron to ten feet, made that for birdie. No. 8, I hit a 4-wood in, hit that about eight feet, made that for birdie.


MEG MALLON: I bogeyed 7, 3-putt. Let's see. Actually 7 I hit a 4-iron left side of the green, rode the ridge the wrong way, knocked it eight feet by, missed it coming back. No. 11, par 3, I'm trying to think of what I hit in there. 5-iron there to ten feet. 13, I hit a 5-iron, made about a 20-footer there. 15, I 3-putted. I hit a horrible wedge about 40 feet away, 3-putted. My second putt was six feet. I hit it really close on 17, 18, missed both of them. It was a good day. I'll take it. No more 3-putts.

MODERATOR: Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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