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Mallon acknowledges 25-year relationship with Daniel

By Randall MellSeptember 27, 2017, 2:42 am

Meg Mallon’s love of family isn’t a secret to anyone who followed what we can now describe as her Hall of Fame career.

She always relished sharing her success as an LPGA star with her parents, John and Marian, before they passed. The youngest of six children, she also relished the spirited celebrations with her brothers and sisters, who were at so many of her 18 LPGA victories, four of them major championships.

So, of course, love of family was a giant theme in Mallon’s speech during her World Golf Hall of Fame induction Tuesday, a love that shined through as powerfully as it ever has, with her acknowledging what she has kept private from the public for so long, that her sense of family extends to a very important partner that she has built a life with inside and outside the game.

Mallon, 54, acknowledged publicly for the first time that she is gay, and that she and fellow Hall of Famer Beth Daniel have been a couple for 25 years.

After thanking her parents and siblings, Mallon turned her attention to Daniel.

“I have talked a lot about the people who have been instrumental in my career’s success,” Mallon told an international television audience in a ceremony broadcast live on Golf Channel. “But now I want to mention the person who has been with me for the most fulfilling journey of my life, Beth. We are celebrating 25 years together later this year.

“While we have endured challenges along the way, I am so grateful and lucky to have this amazing woman by my side. She has taught me so much.”

Daniel was inducted into the LPGA Hall of Fame and World Golf Hall of Fame in 2000.

In this day and age, Mallon’s revelation shouldn’t be big news, but in women’s golf, where such admissions have always been few and far between, there’s still significance.

Mallon spoke about what respect for the privacy of their relationship has meant to them.

“A large part of making our journey together easier is the respect the golf media has shown us by not making our relationship headlines,” Mallon said. “We have built a great rapport with the golf media over the years, founded on mutual respect, and they have been for the most part fair and accurate in their coverage.”

A large contingent of the Mallon family was there for the induction, with Golf Channel cameras showing them among the crowd as Mallon mentioned them.

Mallon acknowledged loved ones who were there, and those who weren’t. Her mother died in 2001, her father in 2005. Her sister, Tricia, died in 2009. Meg has credited Tricia for getting her into golf, simply because Meg wanted to tag along wherever her older sister by five years was going, including to Lakelands Golf & Country Club in Birmingham, Mich.

“We were really, really close,” Meg once said. “I wanted to do everything my sister did.”

When Tricia was stricken with abdominal cancer, Meg was still an active player, but Meg left the LPGA to spend the last 100 days of Tricia’s life alongside her sister, the very last days by her side in hospice care.

“If there is any regret, it is only that my mom and dad and my sister Tricia are not here to share this with us,” Mallon said. “But my faith comforts me to know they are at peace and watching over us.”

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.