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U.S. WOMEN'S OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

July 16, 1995

Meg Mallon

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO

LES UNGER: Meg, I know you'd rather be sitting here with another color medal, but let us go to 18 first, that was a magnificent try to try to even things.

MEG MALLON: Yeah, the putt on 18 through the practice rounds and -- we knew that it was going to take it to the -- right off the mountains, but I had a slope going left, so I just played the putt straight and knew I had to hit a little firm because it was back into the mountain going uphill, and I hit it right on line and it just, you know, bounced and went off to the left a little bit, so, you know, just one of those things you look up and it is not meant to go in. It didn't go in, I think the putt -- I think 17 was more the hole that I needed to birdie; didn't mean to make it that dramatic to come in down to 18. But, 17, I hit a poor third shot in there. I think knowing that I had to birdie to tie at that point, I think that was the hole I really needed to attack a little bit better.

LES UNGER: Have you had time to reflect on the fact that this is almost a reversal of the year that you won when you came from behind and were waiting to see what was going to happen?

MEG MALLON: Well, I know the nature of the Opens and I know Saturday doesn't win an Open and I knew that yesterday after my round, but, you know, I felt the same today. I felt like the same person waking up, and, you know, I was a totally different golfer on the front side, but also, you know, even when Annika got to 4-under, I never felt I was out of the golf tournament because I know you have to post it here at an Open to make it official and that was the case. I mean, Annika bogeyed a couple of holes and that let me back into the tournament, you know, that is the nature of The Open. It happens to everybody. I was the victim this year and, Annika, you know, won and played great today. That is what you have to do on a Sunday, to go out and win it; not necessarily let somebody else do it.

LES UNGER: Let us go back to that dreaded early hole.

MEG MALLON: Well, actually, let us go back to No. 3. No. 3, I hit a really poor shot off the fairway. Hit -- had a really bad lie in the fairway; hit a really poor shot; and made bogey out of that whole business. I was really happy with that. I go up to the 4th tee and ready to hit that shot and it was between clubs, it was either a hard 9 or, you know, an easy 8 and I took the 8 because I didn't want to pull a 9 on that hole and I just left it out enough. Hit it just a little too easy and left it out enough that it got caught up - hit the bank and rolled back in. That boosts you up a little bit. All of a sudden, you are bogey, bogey; then you are in the water now; you got to hit the shot all over again.

Q. How did you get back to the tee instead of the forward tee cropping ground?

MEG MALLON: According to the USGA, I couldn't use the 4-wood tee, I had to go in the rough for -- where the line was between the hole and so I would have had to have dropped in the rough to the right. So, that was not a shot I want to hit. I went back to the tee and, you know, hit a shaky shot there, to the right, put it in a bad position there knowing that it was going to be a tough putt. I honestly thought over my third putt, I thought I was never going to finish the hole. I hit that long third putt. I thought it was going to be the nightmare - that never-ending hole. Because the way the cup was set, I could have been putting there all day long. I actually was relieved to get the third putt in there.

Q. It was longer than the one before?

MEG MALLON: Yes, it was. Lipped out pretty good.

Q. An obvious question is maybe the 3rd hole rattled you a little bit, but those of us who saw it, that was a great bogey.

MEG MALLON: Yes.

Q. Exceptional bogey, right?

MEG MALLON: Right.

Q. Did you walk away from there thinking that everything is fine?

MEG MALLON: Yeah, well, that is what I just said. I was prompted that I had walked away with a bogey because in an Open, you are going to make them. It's the triple and doubles. I had one triple this week. That is what obviously comes back to haunt you a little bit, but if you are going to have a triple, have it early in the round and I knew that. Once I made that, I said "okay, that is over," you know, you are not out of this golf tournament; you still can play. I went on and, you know, played pretty good. But, you know, there were a few shots I hit today that I thought I hit good that just careened over the green and put me in some bad positions. The greens got really firm in the middle. They watered the front left. It got firm in the middle and, you know, I got penalized for being -- going at the flags a little bit today. That is where the bogey - couple of the bogeys came in from those shots.

LES UNGER: Did we go over the birdie or two?

MEG MALLON: No. I had two birdies. I think I birdied No. 6 -- yeah. Came back and hit a good - a wedge up there in on 6, made birdie; settled back in. Then, birdied No. 9; hit a good bunker shot on No. 9; made birdie there.

LES UNGER: How many feet on each of those birdies?

MEG MALLON: No. 6, it was about, I would say, 15 feet and the one on No. 9, it was 3 and a half feet.

LES UNGER: The birdie try on 18, how far was that?

MEG MALLON: I would say that was probably a 20-footer. A little over 6 paces.

Q. Talk about how you slept last night and your physical condition coming in this morning?

MEG MALLON: I slept pretty good last night, actually. You know, my cold bothered me a little bit, but I slept well last night. So, I was happy about that, and, you know, had a pretty normal day today. Normal preparation.

Q. Meg, that shot on 4, if you had hit it a yard farther it probably would have hit the fringe and stuck. You gave the crowd a look of disbelief when that backed up, talk about that and then how important was that birdie at 6 to set your mind right again?

MEG MALLON: Well, the shot on 4, I knew I came off of it and so I was rooting for it a little bit to get up. I thought it would catch the front of the green, at least, and, it didn't. It caught the bank; then rolled back in. I knew at the point where it landed that it was in the water, but -- and, you know, at that point, you just want to get the hole over with and go on and I can't remember the last time I made a triple, but that is an Open. I mean, it will expose things like that sometimes. But you know, I knew I did it early. I knew I could get it back, you know, you are right, I settled down; tried to stick -- get back to fairways and greens and stick to my routine and not get caught up in the past or look ahead at all. Making that birdie settled me down a little bit, but then I go to the next hole and I hit what I think is a good shot and it takes a bounce like I can't believe and goes in the back bunker which is a horrendous position to be in on No. 8 and it is just one of those things. As easy as it was yesterday, it was really -- a lot of difficult things happened today.

Q. You are obviously disappointed about today, but presumably with the cushion of having had an Open win somehow helps; doesn't it?

MEG MALLON: Well, I can't say it is a cushion. I haven't won in a while and I want to win again and I wanted to win today, and you know, I had the opportunity. I was there and it is is probably the best opportunity I have had in a while. And I am going to run the gamut of emotions for the next couple of days but then, you know, fortunately for me, I got go tee it up on Thursday and start all over again. It is going to be tough. It is going to be one that I am going to remember for a long time like I remembered the one I won. But it is definitely wasn't a cushion, and any time you get an opportunity to winning a U.S. Open, you better take advantage of it.

Q. Coming up to 18, the difficulty with the putt that you had on 18 there, I know you -- Pat and Betsy one stroke behind; you were you trying to make that putt to win or were you trying not to make 5?

MEG MALLON: I was trying -- I was -- well, and also because I was into the grain uphill, I was trying to make that putt. I had, you know, I knew I could hit it firm. I knew I could be aggressive and, you bet, I was trying to make it. I didn't want to play 18 more tomorrow.

Q. You said 17 was the hole. What was the first birdie putt distance?

MEG MALLON: I am sorry.

Q. Birdie putt on 17.

MEG MALLON: I had 45-footer on 17.

Q. So your approach shot in there is --

MEG MALLON: -- my third shot.

Q. You said you are going to remember this a long time. What will stand out most? How do you think you will remember it or what would you do different?

MEG MALLON: It was exciting - there is no doubt about it. I mean, I was happy -- after having, you know, the triple on number 4, I was happy to have the opportunity to still win the tournament. I think I will remember that. I think I will run through the whole round and -- I can't pinpoint a reason why, you know, things didn't go well today as opposed to yesterday, I can't think of anything that, you know -- I was nervous, but I was nervous yesterday too. I can't say that that was what got in the way. I just think that, you know, whatever happened on that hole, obviously -- I was pumped up from the hole before, so it wasn't like I was nervous going into that shot. And I think I will think about that, you know, what was my series of emotions through those couple of holes and what was going on in my head and why was it so different than, you know, the other day.

Q. Meg, do you know now what emotion you were fighting the hardest out there?

MEG MALLON: Well, that is a good question. I guess probably not to look back; probably not to think about that bad swing that I made and think about the fact that I could do it again. I think what I was trying to do was get back into my groove; back into your rhythm and, you know, just go play golf again.

Q. Try not to get mad at yourself?

MEG MALLON: You know, I can get mad at myself. I was pretty good today. Only thing I got mad about, there were no cups on number 5 and I was thirsty; that was the only thing I got mad about today, but because if you do, it is going to get you on the next hole and the next hole. You got to get over it and go on and play; that is what I tried to do.

Q. What kind of shot did you make to get out from under the tree when you were behind the trees on No. 3?

MEG MALLON: Oh, God. I had no shot there. I was -- I had no idea. And I know the only thing I wanted to do was get across that cart path, so took an 8-iron because I had to go over a bank; keep it below the trees and then try and scoot it over there. And so I mean, I pulled off the shot that I wanted to hit. That was the best scenario except for the fact that the ball ran up the mound and then I had the grass going against me. I went over there and said, now this one is not an easy shot either. Fortunately, I mean, that was a great up-and-down. To pull that off from over there, I was pretty happy about that.

Q. When you had a 4-shot lead early in the round, did you think that hurt your mindset, knowing that, why, I have got quite an advantage here?

MEG MALLON: I don't know. That is a possibility. You know, I said yesterday it is a lot easier chasing than it is the one being chased. I was ready to go out and play good again today; had the same game plan; John and I were ready to go and I think that the thing that changed a little bit is the greens got really firm and I found that out on the first couple of holes because, you know, I hit an 8-iron that rolled out almost 30 yards on the green on No. 1 and I hit a sand wedge on No. 2 that hit just shy of center right over the green, so all of a sudden the course changed, you know, what was holing the days before, now I know they didn't water it and I know that they -- That is what they do at an Open. They make sure they are firm as can be, so I mean, regard -- put the triple aside, the bogeys that I made were, you know, on hitting the center of the greens and having them bounce all the way over, and, you know, the triple you can get back, but if you keep making the bogeys, it makes it more difficult that way. It was really an adjustment to try and figure out well, is this one going to hold on the front of the green or is it going to bounce over.

Q. The second shot on 3, it looked like you were hitting fairway wood?

MEG MALLON: Yes.

Q. Did you say that you had a bad lie?

MEG MALLON: Yeah.

Q. Also did it hook on you; was it alignment?

MEG MALLON: What happened, actually I had asked for a ruling and I didn't get it. It was on a mounded area that looked like a drain and Barbara McIntire came over and said it was a newly sodded area and so it had dried out. With a newly sodded area, if you don't water it enough, it is going to dry out. So in the center of this beautifully green fairways this pipeline and it was like hard rock on there and my ball was sitting on it, and because they didn't water it throughout the week, it changed from, you know, the difference between the rest of the fairway, so, anyway, I had a bad lie and a long shot and I didn't pull it off very good. I tried to hit it ---I wanted to be real aggressive on it because it wasn't sitting up good and I got it turned over a little bit. And just hit it off the world.

Q. Meg, would you clarify that putt on 18, the length of it?

MEG MALLON: I believe it was a 20-footer. I think I had a little over 6 paces back from the cup.

Q. The mountain, the shrine was one way and the putt was the other?

MEG MALLON: Right, grain was pushing it back to the right and then I was at it this way. I played a straight putt and, you know, started it on line and it just kind of -- I'd like to see it on tape because I think it kept hitting the grain on the way up and just pushing it left.

Q. One other thing, you said Tuesday, "I think that 1 or 2 under par wins The Open." You are right, but you are wrong in a way; correct?

MEG MALLON: Right. That is right. You know, you could say, well, you just go out today and shoot -- just shoot even par for Sunday, but, you know, that is very difficult to do, obviously, with only two people finishing under par for the whole tournament.

LES UNGER: Have you said anything at this moment to Annika?

MEG MALLON: To Annika? Yeah, I congratulated her. Annika is on a hot street. I think she has won twice in Europe in the last month; got a lot of confidence going; just got engaged; got a lot of good things going on in her life. I was happy for her. You know, obviously, I am very disappointed, but, you know, she is going to be a great champion and really enjoy her. She is a neat kid.

End of FastScripts....

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