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August 13, 2000

Meg Mallon


MEG MALLON: I started out on No. 4. I hit a pitching wedge on the par-5 to a foot, we'll call it, and tapped it in for birdie. Then No. 7, I hit a 9-iron to 10 feet, and made that for birdie. On No. 9, I hit the green in 2. I hit a 4-wood up there and 2-putted. My second putt was about three feet, and made that. And then didn't make a birdie until 16. I hit a skinny little perfect 7-iron up there about 15 feet, and made that for birdie. Then my lone bogey was on 18. I just tried to hit an 8-iron out of the rough on the right. Actually, caught it very good. And then I hit a little sand wedge pitch shot above the hole, which is what I did not want to do, and then snuck a little 2-putt in there to win a one. That was enough, fortunately.

Q. How does it feel?

MEG MALLON: Oh, I have a lot of emotions going on right now. I woke up this morning and said, "Well, Meg this is your last chance at a career Grand Slam." Although I had that in the back of my head, I thought Annika and Lorie are playing so well, so I just need to go out there and not make the mistakes I made the first two days. I made 11 birdies the first two days, and was only 3-under. So obviously, I was making as many mistakes as I was making birdies. Today, I tried to go out and eliminate those mistakes, play good solid golf, and just see what happened. I couldn't believe it. I think by the 7th hole things -- I'm not sure -- because I'm not sure what holes Lorie and Annika were struggling on. But it felt like around the 7th or 8th hole that I was in the lead or at least tied for the lead at that point. So it was quite a turnaround in emotions just in the middle of the round. So at that point, I just went out and played smart, aggressive, and not get myself in trouble, major-type golf. And it was -- I was nervous. I was nervous the last few holes. Nervous and excited and enjoying the moment, and I was just thrilled to be able to come down and be able to do it. I had such a heartbreak at the U.S. Open this year. And you talk about giveth and taketh away, I certainly felt that in the last five weeks. And I feel fortunate to feel both emotions. But it's great to come out on top today.

Q. What did you take from the Open loss, and how did you use that today?

MEG MALLON: Well, it was kind of the same scenario. I had to come from behind, and I had caught Karrie in the Open after the turn. And my putting fell apart on the backside. I just learned from that just -- we learn every week. Unfortunately, this game teaches us a lot of lessons every day. But what we take with us is how well we perform. And I just took from that to just relax and enjoy it, keep playing the way I'm playing. I've been playing so well this year, that why not enjoy it, rather than fight it. So that's kind of how I felt about it today.

Q. Did the golf course play real tough for you or --?

MEG MALLON: It is difficult. Well, the thing that I liked about it was in major championships, you have to hit your driver well. If you hit it in the rough, you're penalized. And every time I did, I was penalized. Today, I hit one good shot out of the rough where I rolled it, which is the only thing I could do is roll it 40 yards, and it went up on the green. That's basically the best shot you can hit out of the rough. And the greens got better every day. They got faster and firmer. And they were very difficult to read. I think that's why you didn't see scores any lower than that.

Q. At what point did you realize you were in the lead? Did you look at the leaderboard at 9?

MEG MALLON: No. 9, yeah. No. 9, I knew I was in the lead. I don't think I saw a board -- I may have seen a board coming off the 9th tee. So I knew I was in the lead at that point. I played No. 9 really well, and just kind of went with it a little bit.

Q. When you're in that position, does that change your approach at all?

MEG MALLON: Well, I was into my round, so I was trying to -- I had hit every green up to that point. I didn't have to chip until 13. So that was really my biggest test, is -- because I was hitting every green, 2-putting, making birdie when I had a chance. And then I had to chip 13, 14, and 15. And that was a real test for me there. And I came out of it pretty good on those three holes. Even par on those three holes doing that. And then to come back and birdie 16, to kind of get back into the groove again really helped me out a lot.

Q. Were you more surprised that they were coming backwards than like forward? Because you had said after yesterday's round that you thought Annika would really be tough. You thought it would take someone to shoot 64 to beat her.

MEG MALLON: Yeah, and that's what you feel like when you face a player like that. And Lorie has been playing well, too. She won last week, and you feel like the door is open for her, and she's ready to win a lot more. Obviously, there was a lot of pressure on her today. Even on Annika, too. Annika is trying to be number one on the money list and chasing Karrie. They both had a lot of pressure on them today. The pressure I had is what I put on myself, basically, that this was my last chance to win a major for having four majors. Because I'm not sure what we're going to have next year. It's not easy with the lead, obviously. And this course was difficult. All I can see from behind me is it looked like they were hitting in the rough quite a bit. That made it that much more difficult for them to play. Fortunately, I was keeping it in play and hitting a lot of good iron shots today.

Q. Did you have a number in your head when you came to the course?

MEG MALLON: Yes, I wanted to get to 8-under. But I only got to 6 and still won, so that was a bonus.

Q. Meg, it sounded like your mindset to start today was aggressive. Did it ever change to being more passive and just hitting in the middle of the green?

MEG MALLON: Just on 18 was the only time that I felt like I had to be conservative, because I hit it in the rough. And that was the only time I felt like: Okay, don't try to do a miracle shot, because double bogey will be bad. Bogey is good; double bogey is bad. That's the only time I felt conservative today, as what "conservative" means, I guess.

Q. Was there a shot today or a particular hole that you felt was key?

MEG MALLON: Yeah, probably a couple. I think the up-and-down that I had on 15 was huge. And then 16, I didn't hit a solid iron. And it's funny with my teacher, the last lesson I had, I said my misses are usually straight and sure. That's what I want my misses to be. And I got off line a little bit. And that's what 16 was. I just caught it a little thin, but it went straight and it got up there. And to make that putt on 16 to give me a little bit of cushion was a key hole, too.

Q. Is this textbook for you? 9 tournaments coming from behind?

MEG MALLON: It's fun to chase. It's fun to come from behind. I don't know. I bet most players, most of their victories are probably coming-from-behind, at least one shot or whatever. You certainly are a more aggressive player. It's hard to hang on to a lead, especially in a major championship. You can't just hang on to one. You have to maintain being aggressive, but being smart, too. You wake up thinking you're going to be that way. It doesn't always happen.

Q. I'm wondering what you think of spoiling the party for Lorie Kane.

MEG MALLON: Well, that's kind of what I set out to do today, unfortunately. Lorie has been a tremendous ambassador for Canada. It's been very difficult on her this week, and she's handled it with such grace. Being in the lead, after winning last week, it's very exhausting. It's great to win, but it's very tiring, too. And I'm sure she was just thoroughly exhausted by the time today came. And probably judging from how I saw she was hitting it behind me, that's probably a little bit of how she lost her swing -- the exhaustion and overwhelming. Not that her heart and soul aren't there. I'm sure they were there a hundred percent. But it's difficult to be in the position she's in. And it's not too bad. I'm from Michigan, so I'm part Canadian, I guess. Doesn't Steve Yzerman, isn't he from here? I'm a red wings fan and everything. I'm part Canadian, I guess.

Q. What does it mean, now that you have said like this would be the last chance of the career Grand Slam -- now, that you've won the tournament, how does that make you feel?

MEG MALLON: It's a great feeling. And the Nabisco is the only one I haven't won, but I played very well there. So now the ball is in my court; the pressure is on me. It's fine. It's a good position to be in. And I enjoy the Majors, I love playing them. It's our best test of golf. And I like being in the situation, in the pressure situation. And we've got the Solheim Cup coming up in a month, and it's going to be the same type of pressure, so I feel like I'm working towards that moment, also.

Q. You seem quite sentimental about the history of the game in making your imprint, making your mark on the history?

MEG MALLON: I don't know if it's making my mark. It's just -- it would be pretty cool. I won those two majors in '91, and ever since then, I've been in the lead -- had the lead in every single major since then at one point on the weekend. And it just hasn't happened for me. And I know how special the Majors are. The ones that I won in '91 were -- it was so much fun. You just feel like you have a complete game when you win a major championship. And for whatever reasons I haven't -- just haven't done it, and it hasn't happened for me. And I guess if they told me five years ago you're going to win a du Maurier in five years, I'd relax about it. So it's just -- it's neat to see it all come full circle the way it has.

Q. On 16 you made your birdie putt, but 15 really was instrumental, too. You were 5, she was 4, and you had a testing par-putt to say the least. Can you talk about that?

MEG MALLON: Yeah. Actually I heard a roar on 16, and I didn't know if Rosie made birdie or whatever. So I thought: "Let's make this putt. This is match play. Let's make this putt, win the hole, and move on." I don't know what happened. I don't know who made a putt on 16. I don't know what the deal was, but I saw Rosie was still at the same score. So she may have made a par or something, I don't know. But you talk about composure. The rookie, Diana is very impressive. She made so many putts under pressure today -- today and yesterday. I played with her for two days. She was very impressive. And I think her good play and her good putting kind of kept me focused in on it, too. Sometimes when another player is not playing well, it kind of distracts you. She played great. I think she's going to be a very good player in years to come for us.

Q. What's your schedule the rest of the season?

MEG MALLON: I have a 7:00 flight to London -- not to London, to Toronto to Manchester. We have the British Open at Royal Birkdale. I'm looking forward to that.

End of FastScripts....

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