July 15, 1995
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO
LES UNGER: This was a bogey free, appeared to us, a mistake-free round and you must be pretty happy.
MEG MALLON: Yes, actually I am very happy. It is how you are supposed to play a U.S. Open, hit fairways and hit greens and put yourself in good position on the greens and only a couple of mistakes, but made up for it. Number 10, I had a really good up-and-down there. I put myself in a horrible position, but got up-and-down and then took advantage of - put myself in another bad position on 13 and ended up making birdie there. So, I was pretty happy about that.
LES UNGER: Go through your birdies, please.
MEG MALLON: Sure.
LES UNGER: You like to do those?
MEG MALLON: Yeah. First one was on number 4 actually, I birdied it yesterday. Also, I hit an 8-iron about 15 feet to the left of the hole and hit it straight up. Straight up the hill, in. No. 9, hit a 7-wood on in 2. I believe I had 50-footer there, 2-putted for birdie. Second putt was about 3-feet. And then like I said, on number 10, I got up-and-down, I made -- I guess that was about 8-footer there on 10, made par. Then 13, I had a pitching wedge, I guess, it was 12, 13 feet to the left of the hole and trickled that in for birdie. Then on 17, hit a good pitch shot. I had about 60 yards to the hole and hit a pitch shot about 3-feet below the hole and made birdie there.
LES UNGER: Any saves?
MEG MALLON: Just the --
LES UNGER: Just the other ones you talked about?
MEG MALLON: Yeah, the other one I missed. I was on the fringe from the hole. I was putting from there.
LES UNGER: What brings out the best in you in Opens? You had a victory, a 2nd, a 6th or 4th, whatever, you are a very consistant player in The Opens?
MEG MALLON: I love playing in the U.S. Open. It is a tournament I love playing in every year because of the conditions. I like the fact that you have to hit the fairways. I like the fact that you have to putt well. I had to struggle with my putting earlier in the year, so it has been fun to have the putter "going" a little bit lately and this was a good time for it to get good and because if you are not happy with your putter this week, you are really going to struggle and I have been fortunate with that.
LES UNGER: Were you kind of expecting a 66?
MEG MALLON: No. Never expect that in a U.S. Open. It was really -- it is a nice surprise, although I have been playing well. I have been hitting the ball well. I have been there. I have been close in a lot of tournaments and for whatever reason, it just all hasn't come together, but hopefully this week.
Q. Meg, you said, I guess, the first thing when I saw you last night you said that you weren't feeling well, weren't sleeping well; is that still the deal?
MEG MALLON: You think I'm getting any sympathy right now? Yeah, I have a bit of a cold. It is hard enough to breath out here anyway without having to breath through my mouth all day long. Actually, the pace of play, I think, has really helped me a lot because I can just go slow out there and it has helped me with everything. I have just had to take everything very slowly. John, my caddie, has been a great help with that and, you know, I don't feel well, but - shoot - I got a 2-shot lead in the U.S. Open - I don't think it is going to bother me.
Q. Meg, what was the difference today from the first two rounds?
MEG MALLON: Well, you know, I hit less fairways today, actually. I think the difference today was just putting myself in a better position on the greens. I didn't get in a whole lot of trouble, otherwise, I hit good approach shots and, you know, just real steady, just -- everything stayed real steady. Even if I did mis-hit a shot, it ended up in a good position. So, it was just one of those days.
Q. Does it help at all; your coach is just up the road a little bit and I am sure you must have seen him this week. Have you talked to him during the tournament and can you talk about what he has done for you?
MEG MALLON: Yeah, actually my teacher is Mike McGetrick. He is up in Denver at ^ Meridien. He has a learning center up there. I came out here two weeks ago to see him. I needed a real overhaul on my golf swing. We had actually one of the worse lessons we ever had two weeks ago because I left feeling bad about everything. I knew what I had to do, but for some reason, I couldn't do it. Throughout Toledo, I kind of worked out the problem. When I saw him again on Monday, it was a lot better, and I think that was a good way to - rather than try and fix something this week, it was a good way to do it two weeks ago.
Q. Too technical, what was the problem?
MEG MALLON: My swing -- it is kind of a long story, but I had shoulder problems and problems with my wrist. So this was about two months ago, and I started developing flat layed off golf swing which was just awful looking, but there was nothing else I can do with the way that I felt. I managed to -- I was putting well enough that I managed to play okay, but I knew that it was the swing that wasn't going to hold up if I got in contention and it really needed a change. So along with getting my shoulder healthy and working with Mike, I can get the club up in the air a little bit better and get it on playing.
Q. Two questions, were you out there -- were you looking at the leaderboard at all and watching everybody backing up and does that affect how you approach --
MEG MALLON: You know, Judy is laughing back there. I didn't look at the leaderboard once. Actually, I putted out; walked on 18; looked back; I expected someone to be -- I always feel like if I am playing that well, there will be 10 other people playing just as good; if not, better. Especially in a U.S. Open, you can't look at the leaderboard just for that reason. It changes so much, there is nothing I can do about it. I have to go out and still try and make birdies and play the best golf that I can. It is my caddie's responsibility to look at the board; know what is going on for the last 3, 4 holes; and that is really the point where you look at it unless you are way out of it, 10 shots out of it, then I stare at the leaderboard; see what everybody is doing. Fortunately, I am not.
Q. Did you practice anything in particular coming in or just the kind of thing at U.S. Open you just --
MEG MALLON: It was -- actually for the last two months, I worked really hard on it. Mike and I found a couple of, you know, flaws that were in my stroke and my confidence was, you know, really poor which putting is -- you got to have confidence behind the putter, so for really two months we worked really hard on getting it back and I would say for the last month I have been playing really well.
Q. On Thursday night you didn't get a lot of sleep. How much were you up or how much sleep did you get?
MEG MALLON: Thursday night, that was miserable. I just, you know, you know how you have that post nasal drip and you can't -- I mean, every ten seconds you have to clear your throat. I just tried to sit up and then I set my alarm on east coast time, so it went off at 4:00 am, so whatever sleep I had, I was up right away at 4 o'clock, so anyway, it was just one of those nights. I was exhausted. Maybe it was better off that I had an early time because then I could just go and then I rested the rest of the afternoon and last night.
Q. Meg, two questions. How did you hurt your wrist and your shoulder?
MEG MALLON: Well, my shoulder was a gradual thing. I don't know if it was -- travelling and everything and my luggage and golf, it is not a natural thing for your body and my shoulder just got out of whack, my rotator cuff, I had muscle spasms, things like that that just wouldn't go away. On Tour this year we have had rain almost every weekend and it has been cold and that didn't help either. My wrist is another story. I went to play Pine Valley for the first time. I was on the 2nd hole and I had to hit a 7-wood out of the rough and I thought for sure that this pine tree behind me wasn't in my way. So I took my backswing and on my momentum on the way down I caught the pine tree and yanked my whole arm out with the ball by this much (indicating approximately 15 inches) and the next thing I know my arm is puffed up, you know, just swelled up right away. I took 3 Advil, kept playing, and because you don't not play Pine Valley, and so it just took some time for it to heal. It was just a strained tendons apparently.
Q. When was that again?
MEG MALLON: About a month and a half ago, I would say, end of April or beginning of May, and it was just enough to hurt in my swing and create some problems, but not enough so that I couldn't play.
Q. The last couple of years after, you know, '91 and '92 everybody thought "superstar," '93 to '95 really nothing --
MEG MALLON: You have got your facts wrong. I won twice in '93.
Q. Okay, '94, '95, last two years.
MEG MALLON: Okay.
Q. What has been going on there; can you kind of elaborate a little bit on it?
MEG MALLON: '94 I finished 10th on the money list, played really well; had lots of top 10s; had some opportunities to win; didn't happen. This year, same story, lots of top 10s; couple opportunities, Sunday opportunities to win. It is funny, it is the expectations that go with it. I feel like my golf has been the same. I played really well, played last two Solheim Cup teams and really been, I think, playing, you know, pretty good, but our Tour is getting little tougher to win out here. A lot more players are winning, and, you know, I certainly would like to win often and it is a lot of fun and after getting a taste of it, you certainly would like to do it more often, but you understand the nature of the game.
Q. Has it affected you mentally not being able to win?
MEG MALLON: Not necessarily. It took me a lot of years. It took me 5, 6 years to win my first tournament, so I understand how that goes. I want to win every week that I play, but I can't beat myself up over it.
Q. What about tomorrow, anything to change; anything to do differently?
MEG MALLON: I better not.
Q. Can you play defense on this golf course?
MEG MALLON: No. No. You can't. The same strategy: Hit fairways, hit greens, get yourself in a correct place on the green. The thing that is difficult here is club selection because the ball is flying on you at times and then hitting very smart putts at the right time. There is times where you just need to play defense on putts and other times where you can be a little bit more aggressive with your putting into the hill, but, you know, just things like that, hit the ball solid. I feel a little bit better how I hit the ball today with my irons, so my driver has been great, so hopefully -- actually, Mike saw me on 17 and he said, I will see you on the range after the round, so I am sure he wants to work on something.
MEG MALLON: Yes.
LES UNGER: He wants to, but do you?
MEG MALLON: Yeah.
Q. I think you were saying that you had putting problems early in the season, but you also said that when you were struggling with your swing recently, your putting was kind of saving you, so --
MEG MALLON: Right.
MEG MALLON: Yeah, because the putting came along in the last couple of months.
Q. What will tonight be like for you and how will the experience of winning an Open already help you get through the night to prepare for it?
MEG MALLON: My parents are here and my -- one of my sisters are here, so I need to see what is going on with them. Take care of them. You know, I just -- try and get sleep. Actually, I am happy I get to sleep in. That is part of my motivation to play well so I can get some sleep. I will go back and practice and do all the things that, you know, if my mind gets going, I might have a tough time sleeping tonight. I think that is what is the thing you fight with the most, is getting your mind going off the golf course and that will be, you know, my caddie John's biggest challenge, to make sure that we stay in the ballgame and keep playing well. Actually I hope that Juli does play good tomorrow so that it will get both of us aggressive and playing well.
Q. Because often aggression is penalized on a golf course at a U.S. Open, is it at all, do you think, a strange advantage sometimes to actually be tired, that -- (inaudible)
MEG MALLON: I think when I won at Colonial, if you remember, it was 105 degrees or whatever, I couldn't move. And that wasn't good for me because I didn't get too hyper or too caught up in the emotion. I was too caught up in being so hot out there that, you know, I just was one-shot-at-a-time and trying to get from one shot to the next and yeah, it does help.
Q. Set your alarm on east coast time?
MEG MALLON: This body needs some rest. You know, I know that now. I know that that is what I need to do for tomorrow.
Q. Do you remember at all what you did the night before the final round at Colonial; kind of thing that you think about; that I will do the same thing --
MEG MALLON: Yeah, I really don't. I remember, you know, my parents were there again and that was the greatest thing is that, you know, your parents should be there to see something like that. And I think, you know, I know they had a ball today. And that is what makes it fun for me that they were -- because otherwise, you know, it tough to watch your kid struggle, and so it is always fun when you have a good day.
LES UNGER: What are their names?
MEG MALLON: John and Marian Mallon. They are as cute as can be. They are both 71 years old and they drove out here from California. They decided, you know -- they are both retired and they are both on this -- deciding that they are going to see the world and we all worry about them because they are driving through elevations, god knows what, and they drove here Wednesday and they are doing just fine.
Q. Meg, we had 18 people under par on Monday; 12 under par yesterday; and 3-under par today. Is that because the greens are getting tougher or is it pressure or is it --
MEG MALLON: Welcome to the U.S. Open. It happened with the men. It happens with everybody. It is just the nature of The Open. USGA is back there smiling. I mean, they are perfect. Their perfect Open is when you shoot even par and win. And that is when they are happy with the PGA and that is why they are happy with today, right, Judy.
JUDY BELL: Pretty close.
Q. Is the course playing consistently tougher or is ist a function of a tough course and mounting pressure?
MEG MALLON: I suppose you can say it is a combination of both. For me, I felt like you know, it got less intimidating as it went on because you got, you know, in the beginning of the week you saw how slow -- what the shrine does to the golf course, it was really intimidating, because I started off putting well, I think that that confidence helped as each day went on and maybe for other people it was just the opposite. Maybe they didn't respect the course in the beginning and then kind of came back to get them a little bit.
Q. Meg, it has already been pointed out that you have already won this tournament once before back in 1991, but the significance of winning the 50th U.S. Women's Open, can you comment on that?
MEG MALLON: Thanks a lot.
Q. You're welcome.
MEG MALLON: Well, I can say I am glad I didn't play in all 50 of then. Judy have you seen all 50 of them?
JUDY BELL: Watch out tomorrow.
LES UNGER: She has just been dropped from the field.
MEG MALLON: Yeah, and the fact that it is here and in Judy's home and that it is the 50th and the tradition, she brings back all The Open champions having all these ladies around has been terrific; having Louise Suggs and Marlene Bauer, all those ladies around, has been great. It has really been a special week because of that. And you know, I saw Louise out on the fourth tee today. She is just sitting there on the bench probably 3/4 of the public don't know who she is. She is just sitting there rooting us on. It is a terrific championship. It was a great -- as much as exciting as the LPGA Championship was for me, the U.S.. Open definitely brought me a lot more attention, and it is a terrific tournament to win and, you know, we will see what happens tomorrow.
LES UNGER: Is that good? Thanks.
MEG MALLON: Thanks a lot.
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