Mallon Enjoys Spotlight

By Associated PressJuly 4, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 U.S. WomenSOUTH HADLEY, Mass. -- The gallery grew with each hole as Meg Mallon climbed the leaderboard in the U.S. Women's Open.
Born in Natick, Mass., about an hour's drive from the Orchards Golf Club, Mallon shot a 4-under 67 on Saturday -- the best round of the day -- to pull within three strokes of leader Jennifer Rosales.
'They're fantastic,' Mallon said. 'They know I'm a Celtics and Red Sox fan.'
Former Celtics coach K.C Jones, a friend of Mallon's, greeted her off the No. 18 green after her round Saturday.
Mallon won the Open in 1991 and has finished in the top 10 five other times in her 18-year career. She opened with a 2-over 73 on Thursday then scrambled back to even to begin Saturday's round.
'I just kept saying this is a U.S. Open and bogey is not going to hurt you,' she said. 'And you don't win it on the first day.'
Pat Hurst was 1 under for the tournament when her tee shot landed 15 feet below the cup on the par-3 10th. But the pin was cut close to a ridge, and the ball slowly trickled off the green.
What followed were replays from Shinnecock.
Her first chip with a sand wedge went up the hill, then rolled to her feet. Her next chip did the same, and Hurst stood there with hands on hip, clearly disgusted.
'I said a few choice words to our USGA official, but she knew it wasn't personal,' Hurst said.
Hurst replaced the club with a pitching wedge, hit a low chip up the hill and it barely stayed on the top shelf. She made a 10-footer for double bogey, but rallied three birdies and shot 71.
She played with Michelle Wie, shot the same score and will play with the teen on Sunday.
Michelle Wie's round of even par was the low amateur round of the day. The 14-year-old also is the youngest of the four teenage amateurs playing in the Open this weekend.
Paula Creamer, 17, shot a 72. Jennie Lee, 17, had a 75 and Brittany Lincicome, 18, the first-round leader, continued to struggle and finished with a 5-over 76.
Creamer, paired with Kelly Robbins, admitted to nerves in the opening few holes. Robbins, who is three strokes off the lead, had the hot hand early and was 4 under at the turn. That helped, Creamer said.
'I learned a lot things from Kelly. She's very good,' Creamer said. 'It was just getting used to all of the people out there.'
Patricia Meunier-LeBouc, one stroke off the lead on Thursday, hasn't flirted with the lead since, shooting 7 over the next two days. Still, the Frenchwoman liked her vantage point on Saturday from after being paired with Mallon, a good friend and the owner of the day's low round.
'I kind of just enjoyed watching her play and then I relaxed and said `OK, it's not my day,' Meunier-LeBouc said.
After that Meunier-LeBouc birdied two of her last three holes.
'That's the way golf is,' she said. 'If you try to hard, you're not making it. This is the U.S. Open. Your brain is going crazy sometimes, but you just have to let it go.'
Kate Golden is amazed at the newest crop of golfers, who made up the youngest U.S. Open field in history. This year's open drew a record 16 teenagers
Golden, the 37-year-old tour veteran, turned pro after graduating from Texas in 1989 and didn't get her first LPGA Tour until 2001 when she held off Annika Sorenstam with a career-low 63 to win the State Farm Classic.
'When I was 18 I never thought I was that good,' she said. 'I didn't have that mentality that I was a world beater like they do now and I don't know where they get it, but they've got it.
'And they're doing it.'
But the times are changing, Golden said.
'It's just different now. There are definitely some amateurs that could turn pro and make a living out here.'
With four birdies in the first nine holes, Kelly Robbins had the low front nine (32) ... The difficult 16th hole yielded nine birdies Saturday after giving up just four the previous two rounds ... Juli Inkster's round of 77 matched her high round for the year; her highest round in the Open was an 86 in 1985. ... Defending champion Hilary Lunke shot an 81 in the third round. She has not made a birdie in her last 32 holes.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - U.S. Women's Open

  • Full Coverage U.S. Women's Open
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  • Course Tour - The Orchards
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    Golf's Olympic format, qualifying process remain the same

    By Rex HoggardMarch 19, 2018, 6:25 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – Potential Olympic golfers for the 2020 Games in Tokyo were informed on Monday that the qualification process for both the men’s and women’s competitions will remain unchanged.

    According to a memo sent to PGA Tour players, the qualification process begins on July 1, 2018, and will end on June 22, 2020, for the men, with the top 59 players from the Olympic Golf Rankings, which is drawn from the Official World Golf Ranking, earning a spot in Tokyo (the host country is assured a spot in the 60-player field). The women’s qualification process begins on July 8, 2018, and ends on June 29, 2020.

    The format, 72-holes of individual stroke play, for the ’20 Games will also remain unchanged.

    The ’20 Olympics will be held July 24 through Aug. 9, and the men’s competition will be played the week before the women’s event at Kasumigaseki Country Club.

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    Webb granted special exemption for U.S. Women's Open

    By Will GrayMarch 19, 2018, 6:22 pm

    Karrie Webb's streak of consecutive appearances at the U.S. Women's Open will continue this summer.

    The USGA announced Monday that the 43-year-old Aussie has been granted a special exemption into this year's event, held May 31-June 3 at Shoal Creek in Alabama. Webb, a winner in both 2000 and 2001, has qualified for the event on merit every year since 2011 when her 10-year exemption for her second victory ended.

    "As a past champion, I'm very grateful and excited to accept the USGA's special exemption into this year's U.S. Women's Open," Webb said in a release. "I have always loved competing in the U.S. Women's Open and being tested on some of the best courses in the country."

    Webb has played in the tournament every year since 1996, the longest such active streak, meaning that this summer will mark her 23rd consecutive appearance. She has made the U.S. Women's Open cut each of the last 10 years, never finishing outside the top 50 in that span.

    Webb's exemption is the first handed out by the USGA since 2016, when Se Ri Pak received an invite to play at CordeValle. Prior to that the two most recent special exemptions went to Juli Inkster (2013) and Laura Davies (2009). The highest finish by a woman playing on a special exemption came in 1994, when Amy Alcott finished sixth.

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    Notah: Driver is Tiger's No. 1 pre-Masters concern

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 5:49 pm

    Tiger Woods mounted a Sunday charge at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, sending shockwaves through Bay Hill when it looked as though he might finally claim PGA Tour victory No. 80.

    But the charge came to an end at the par-5 16th, where Woods had missed wide-right three days in a row before going OB-left on Sunday en route to bogey.

    Woods’ API performance featured just a handful of drivers each day, as firm and fast conditions allowed him to make frequent use of a 2-iron off the tee.

    That strategy led to a second top-5 finish in as many weeks, but if Woods wants to win again, if he wants claim another major, he is going to sort out his issues with the big stick.

    A guest Monday morning on the Dan Patrick Show, Golf Channel’s Notah Begay believes the driver will be a focus for Woods in his pre-Masters preparation.

    “Project No. 1 over the next two weeks is going to be the driver. … Any time he has to turn a shot right to left with trouble on the left, he struggles a little bit,” Begay said.

    “Off the sixth tee, off the ninth tee, there was some errant shots. And then we saw the really horrible tee shot yesterday at 16. He talked about in the post-round comments. He just didn’t commit to a shot, and the worst thing that a professional athlete can do to themselves to compromise performance is not commit.

    “And so he made a terrible swing, and that’s the miss that is really difficult for him to recover from, because the majority of his misses are out to the right. So, when you eliminate one half of the golf course, you can really make your way around … a lot easier. When you have a two-way miss going, which sometimes creeps into his driver, it really makes it difficult to take out some of the trouble that you’re looking at when you’re standing on the tee box.

    “So he has to focus in on trying to find some way to navigate Augusta National with the driver, because it’s a course that’s going to force you to hit driver.”

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    McIlroy trails only Woods in Masters betting odds

    By Will GrayMarch 19, 2018, 5:47 pm

    After rallying for victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rory McIlroy is once again among the betting favorites for the upcoming Masters.

    McIlroy was available at 16/1 at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook last week, listed behind six other players. But after his three-shot win at Bay Hill, his odds were trimmed to 10/1, leaving him behind only betting favorite Tiger Woods.

    Next month will mark McIlroy's fourth opportunity to close out the final leg of the career Grand Slam by slipping into a green jacket. Here's a look at the current betting odds, with the first round only 17 days away:

    8/1: Tiger Woods

    10/1: Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas

    14/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose

    16/1: Jason Day, Jon Rahm

    18/1: Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson

    25/1: Paul Casey, Bubba Watson

    30/1: Sergio Garcia, Tommy Fleetwood, Hideki Matsuyama

    40/1: Henrik Stenson, Marc Leishman

    50/1: Alex Noren

    60/1: Matt Kuchar, Louis Oosthuizen, Adam Scott, Tyrrell Hatton, Thomas Pieters

    80/1: Branden Grace, Brian Harman, Tony Finau, Charley Hoffman, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Cantlay

    100/1: Zach Johnson, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Webb Simpson, Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele, Charl Schwartzel, Daniel Berger, Kevin Kisner