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July 20, 1994

Meg Mallon


LES UNGER: Did you start before the rains?

MEG MALLON: No, I didn't. I had a 9:30 tee time so I got an hour and ten minutes bumped back, whatever which was -- it was okay.

LES UNGER: According to this document in 1989 last time this was here, you did not compete the last two days and then a couple of years later you wound up winning the Women's Open. So go back a little bit and recollect and compare it perhaps to today.

MEG MALLON: I had said that my goal in '89 was to make sure my whole family got tickets and I took care of that. They all got tickets. This year, most of them aren't coming, so I don't have to worry about that so much. It was fun coming back home and having people root for you like that. I am out in the practice round the last couple of days; there is people out there rooting for me and so it is a nice feeling to start out the week that way. And, you know, now that you are sort of the hometown gal and I spent 19 years of my life here, and so I have a lot of good memories of this place.

Q. Do you notice the gallery a lot more here because of that?

MEG MALLON: Yeah, because they are saying your name and "go Mercy High School" or "go Bucks" or go something or another, and it is always fun.

Q. You are involved in a situation with Solheim points and you are on the third major of the year having that fan support, is there a downside to that because you feel all this attention? Is it inspirational or do you lose. . .

MEG MALLON: Two of the most disappointing starts this year were finishing 11th in the first two Majors and I may as well have finished dead last because my whole goal this year was Solheim Cup points. That is definitely on my mind, and something that I would -- obviously, I'd like to win, but definitely like to get those points because they are triple. You know the majors make a real big deal with -- as far as the point goes and between 6th and 14th right now it is so tight, that, you know, it is anybody's ball game.

Q. Is there extra pressure playing with all that support and knowing that it is right there with you all the time?

MEG MALLON: I guess there is pressure there, but I know that I -- I mean the tighter I play, the worse I play. I need to go out there and try and stay loose, but focused and just, you know, take care of what I can take care of. I tried to play like that the last couple of weeks and it has worked out fairly well. I felt like I played well all year, but never put everything together yet, so I had my teacher out this week and that may have tightened me up a little bit more than I needed to be because there were so many things to fix that it became overwhelming. So, hopefully tomorrow I will just be able to go out there and just play my golf game and play the golf course, and see what happens.

Q. Are you not satisfied with your game at the moment?

MEG MALLON: Never. I don't know a golfer that ever is. I mean, there is always one part of it that you are working on. Right now it is a little bit of my golf swing. I felt like I putted the best I putted all year last week and so I am going to carry that confidence into this week. It is good to have that confidence on this golf course because you can get some really tough places on these greens. So you don't want to come in not having confidence with your putter.

Q. What about this course, Meg, does it suit your game?

MEG MALLON: You know, I always feel like that question, "does it suit your game--" if you are playing well and you are confident, you can play on any golf course in the world. I feel like at the U.S. Open you have to keep it in the fairway and keep it in the middle of the greens, that is my game. So maybe that is more to my benefit. But I still have to hit longer irons and longer woods than a lot of the top players, the longer hitters. So it makes for maybe a little bit more difficult that way, but you won't see me too much in the fescue and that kind of stuff.

Q. Have you had a chance to play here a lot?

MEG MALLON: I played here once before. The Open was here in '89. I played here once after. I played the new course which I am very happy we are not playing as a U.S. Open because that is a very difficult golf course. So I haven't played it in abundance, but we have so many great golf courses in the Detroit area that there is -- you just want to play every one that you can.

Q. When you were growing up here, did you think about the U.S. Open; this was a course -- when you were a girl, really wasn't a course that would be like Oakland Hills?

MEG MALLON: Yeah, I grew up a mile and a half from Oakland Hills, so I had the Detroit Golf Club.

Q. This was enough of a course--

MEG MALLON: I didn't know it was out here. Someone told me this was built in 1920. I didn't even know this was out here.

Q. It was down--

MEG MALLON: I used to go right past it, but never knew this was right here.

Q. Do you feel '91 was kind of like your breakthrough year; big year and everything? Since then you haven't been able to have another 1991. You have come close, a lot and everything.

MEG MALLON: That is where you have to-- if you guys were stats people, you would say 1992 is better than 1991. I played a lot better in 1992. 1991 I took advantage of the four times that I played well and happened to win. But as far as a full year, scoring average, top 10s, I had a tremendous amount of top 10s that year. I played terrific without winning. 15? Okay. 15 top 10s. So I had a lot of opportunities to win. That is the way golf is. Last year I played good twice and I won twice.

Q. This year you seemed to be coming close and knocking on the door?

MEG MALLON: Yes. Which is what you want to do. Every week you want to be able to be in contention and have a chance. You want to tee it up on Sunday and have the chance to win. And I have done that a lot this year, so it has been fun that way, but it has also been frustrating with the fact that I haven't had a chance to win. I have teed it up three times on Sunday being in the lead and haven't won yet. So it is frustrating but it is also where you want to be; where you want to put yourself every Sunday.

Q. Back to the course here, you didn't play this course until the pre -- before the 1989 tournament?

MEG MALLON: Yeah, I played before 1989. Actually my lawyer is a member out here so he had me out here playing, you know, not a whole lot. Have I played it? I know that it changes quite a bit depending on the wind. You can't really think that you have it one day; it will turn around and be different the next day.

Q. What about the heather?

MEG MALLON: I think what is frustrating for a player like myself, I don't hit it far off the fairway. When I do I hit it I hit it in the luscious part of the rough; which is right off the fairway so I get in some deep lies, but players that seem to wing-ding it all over the place seem to be in these nice wide open places. This golf course isn't like that. All of a sudden it gets taller as you get further out. I'd like to see that because I feel like you know, you shouldn't be rewarded for hitting it off the planet.

Q. Personal observation. In the last three, four years, with the influx of the European players, would you say that the ladies Tour, the depth of field has strengthened maybe four, five times than it has in the previous 15 years or. . .

MEG MALLON: When I first came out on Tour there were the elite ten players that won every week. They just traded winning every week. You could also shoot even par -- if you got a 2 shot lead going into Sunday and you shot even par, you were going to win. Now, the last four, five years you have got 40, 50 players that feel like they can win every week and that have won; there is no fear. The young players coming out, they are coming out expecting to win right away. So the depth is tremendous. Right now, it makes for a better Tour, but it also, you know, makes it that much more difficult to have multiple win seasons. But I think that is for the better for our Tour anyway. You get a lot of -- you get better golf; more competitiveness; you get to see newer faces out there winning and the players that have been good players for the years getting tested and challenged every week, and you shoot 66, 67 on Sunday to win instead of even par. So it makes for better golf.

Q. How much is experience going to be a factor in an Open? Is it overrated as an attribute?

MEG MALLON: I don't know. You look at the last winners and it is not necessary -- well, Lauri Merten didn't really have the experience and I didn't really have the experience. Sometimes not having the pressure of winning makes it easier on you. I came in; I won the LPGA Championship two weeks prior. It was hot as can be. I made two double bogeys on Friday of the U.S. Open; didn't even think about being in the tournament and I wake up Sunday morning, I am two shots out, and feel like I have a chance. So I think not having the expectations of, you know, winning or playing well, takes a lot of the pressure off of you that is otherwise there for, you know, say, for Laura or Beth or Kelly right now; they feel like they should win this week and that is pretty tough to do for a U.S. Open. Especially when even or 1-under wins a tournament.

Q. You'd be a totally objective observer; not a participant, would you say given that there are three players that went into the Hall of Fame this weekend, that Betsy King having won in 1989; needing that 30th victory that she might have a little bit more emotion or drive because of that?

MEG MALLON: I would never question Betsy's motivation and drive. It is there every week. It makes a great story. There is a lot of great stories coming in this week as far as who can win and what it means. But that is also an awful lot of pressure to put on someone for that. But if anybody can handle it, you know, Betsy and Beth and even Amy Alcott. Amy has been playing well lately, and an Open would be the right place for her to win because it requires a lot of patience; and good iron play which Amy always has, and so it makes -- I mean, there is a lot of great stories that could happen this week.

Q. Beth kind of likes to win two in a row. She won last week.

MEG MALLON: Yeah, she won something 7 times, two in a row in her career, that is amazing. She knows how to ride a roll.

LES UNGER: Are you saying that par or one or two either way is about what you'd look for here?

MEG MALLON: If the wind blows like it did today, I think it is going to be a really difficult course. Trying to blow 4-woods into those par threes and -- it is just made for a difficult course today. It just played real long. You have to-- right now you have to hit the ball high and carry it up on the greens, and there are so many elevated ones and long holes right now that it is playing pretty tough with the wet conditions.

Q. Do you think that given the depth of the young players coming out on the Tour now that 30 wins will happen for a player that just joined the Tour now?

MEG MALLON: That is funny because I am on the committee for the Hall of Fame, and you know, I think for the most part the Tour feels like that you should still play your way into the Hall of Fame. It should be a players' Hall of Fame. If you want to have something separate where players are given to the Tour that may have kept them out of doing that or whatever, then have the separate deal, but still keep the Hall of Fame as something to play your way into. Now, for me, personally, I feel like things that are left out like Vare Trophy and Player of The Year, and you know, I don't know what else you could add.

Q. All the Majors could be--

MEG MALLON: The Majors more equal value, right. Things like that need to be looked at again and maybe put a little more importance on them towards the Hall of Fame which I don't think lessens the requirements to get in. I think it is just something that was overlooked and needs to be put in there. I'd like to see it as a point system, but I feel like players that in their eras who just set themselves apart from their peers should be in the Hall of Fame. Now, how do we set those standards for modern day? That is what we are trying to figure out. You know to where Dottie Mochrie had the year like she did in 1992 and the Vare Trophy she got that and player of the year; that didn't really count towards that.

Q. She has got like 7 wins; she's got like 23 to go?


Q. You got 6, you are the two lead players of your era?

MEG MALLON: Pat Bradley said I had the tough part out of the way because I had the two different majors. I didn't think that was the case.

Q. In three weeks?

MEG MALLON: Yes, exactly. So it is going to be a slow process. It is not something we need to change quickly but it is definitely something that needs to be changed a little bit. But we are definitely divided; the ones that are in want to keep it that way, and the ones that are close feel like it should be or even, you know, have an opportunity to get in feel like it should be changed a little bit.

Q. What holes do you think are the most difficult, par threes?

MEG MALLON: Yeah, right now I would say the par threes.

Q. Are you happy walking away with par on those long par threes?

MEG MALLON: In a U.S. Open par is a wonderful score no matter what hole you are on. Yeah, par threes are very difficult. I have played my 4-wood a lot today. That is a hard shot to have to hit all the time.

Q. What about the 18th green for you know --

MEG MALLON: I have to tell you I missed it twice this week. That is hard to do.

Q. It's an advantage; isn't it, to miss it? How did you manage to do that?

MEG MALLON: I hit one through and up into the hill; then I hit one short right and on the fringe, so somehow I managed to do it. And I was in the middle of the fairway when I did it too, so. . .

Q. Is that one of the hardest greens given a U.S. Open or anything else because of the triple tier and I guess 20 some thousand square feet?

MEG MALLON: Yeah, green is easy if you hit it 10 feet away and it's hard if you hit it 60 feet away. That definitely has so many bumps and undulations that you spend a lot of time trying to read a putt on that green. But it is not extremely fast or anything like that. But you just have to pay attention to where you are going.

End of FastScripts....

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