Mass Appeal Mallon Wins Womens Open

By Sports NetworkJuly 4, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 U.S. WomenSOUTH HADLEY, Mass. -- Meg Mallon used a hot putter on Sunday to roll to a two-stroke win at the U.S. Women's Open. Mallon fired a final-round 6-under 65, the lowest final-round score by a winner in tournament history.
 
'My brothers and sister were here today and it was a family effort,' said Mallon, who collected $560,000 for the win. 'I couldn't even look at them all day today because I knew they were getting emotional, as was I.'
 
Mallon closed the event at 10-under-par 274, as she held off a hard charging Annika Sorenstam. The Swede closed with back-to-back birdies to polish off a round of 4-under 67 to finish at 8-under-par 276.
 
Mallon was the story, however. She played the final 25 holes at minus-9, without a bogey. In the final round, Mallon posted 10 one-putts and had no three-putts over the four rounds.
 
'It was the right time,' said Mallon of her putter getting hot. 'I just felt so good over the putter today and they weren't easy putts by any means. I just rolled the ball so well and the cup looked like a bucket. It was a great day for that to happen.'
 
Jennifer Rosales opened the round with a three-stroke cushion, but came undone midway through her round. She opened with a birdie at the first to move four shots clear of the field.
 
The 2004 Chick-fil-A Charity Championship winner then carded five straight pars to remain atop the leaderboard. Rosales started to fall back to the field.
 
She came up short of the green at the seventh with her second shot and was unable to get up-and-down for par. At the eighth, Rosales knocked her second shot to the back fringe, but could not save par from inside 20 feet.
 
That bogey dropped her to minus-6 where she was joined by Mallon and Kelly Robbins.
 
Mallon was biding her time. She had dropped in back-to-back birdies from the third to get to 6 under, then posted four straight pars.
 
Mallon, who also won the 1991 U.S. Women's Open at Colonial Country Club, finally moved atop the leaderboard with a 3-foot birdie putt at the par-5 ninth.
 
Around the turn, Mallon was briefly joined at minus-7 by Robbins. Moments after Robbins birdied the 12th, Mallon rolled in an 18-foot birdie try at 11 to regain the lead at Orchards Golf Club at 8 under.
 
Mallon remained hot as she dropped her second shot within 8 feet of the cup at the par-4 12th. She drained that birdie putt to move to minus-9, two strokes clear of Robbins.
 
The 41-year-old parred the par-5 13th before sinking at 18-footer for birdie at the 14th to get to 10 under, where she stood four shots clear of the field after Robbins dropped a stroke at the 15th.
 
Coming down the stretch, Robbins could only manage to par the final three holes. Rosales, who fell off the pace with bogeys at the 10th, 15th and 16th, was no longer in the race.
 
It was Sorenstam, the top player in the women's game, who was lurking. Sorenstam won this event in 1995 and 1996, with Mallon finishing second to her in '95.
 
Sorenstam, who won the McDonald's LPGA Championship three weeks ago, managed one bogey and one birdie over her opening nine holes. She dropped in an 8-foot birdie putt at the 10th to get to 5 under.
 
After a pair of two-putt pars, Sorenstam pitched her third shot to the par-5 13th within 7 feet of the hole. She sank that birdie to get within three shots.
 
Sorenstam had birdie putts at each of the next three holes, but was unable to convert any of them. She did turn it on late though. The Hall-of-Famer sank a 12-foot birdie try at the 17th and a 7-footer for birdie at the last to get to minus-8.
 
'I'm disappointed, but I can get over it, because I played so well and I gave it my all,' said Sorenstam. 'You've got to give all the credit to Meg, she played so well, and to shoot 6 under on Sunday at the U.S. Open, it doesn't get much better than that. I'm proud with 4 under, it just wasn't enough this year.'
 
Mallon two-putted for par at 15 and 16. At the par-3 17th, she missed the green right. She could only pitch her second on to the fringe, but calmly ran home her par-saving putt.
 
At the last, Mallon found the fairway off the tee and knocked her second shot on to the green. Leading by two shots, Mallon nearly drained her birdie putt, but ultimately tapped in for par and her second U.S. Women's Open title, making her the third oldest champion at this event.
 
'I've seen so many things happen over my career. I finished second twice at this tournament and that hurt a lot,' Mallon said. 'So I kept that in the back of my head, knowing you've got to play every hole and play every hole hard.'
 
Robbins ended with a 2-under 69 to take third place at 6-under-par 278. Rosales stumbled to a closing 75 and finished at minus-3.
 
'I'm still in shock what happened today,' Rosales said. 'I mean Meg played awesome. I just couldn't get anything happening. I started strong, birdied the first hole, but after the bogey at the seventh everything went downhill. I tried, I tried my best, hopefully next year.'
 
Curtis Cup teammates Paula Creamer and Michelle Wie tied for low amateur at 1-over-par 285. They were tied for 13th place with Patricia Meunier-Lebouc.
 
Related Links:
  • TGC Final-Round Re-Air
  • Leaderboard - U.S. Women's Open

  • Full Coverage U.S. Women's Open
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    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.

    PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 8:02 pm

    Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.

    The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    The statement reads:

    The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Web.com Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.

    The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.

    The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.

    The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.

    Good time to hang up on viewer call-ins

    By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 7:40 pm

    Golf announced the most massive layoff in the industry’s history on Monday morning.

    Armchair referees around the world were given their pink slips.

    It’s a glorious jettisoning of unsolicited help.

    Goodbye and good riddance.

    The USGA and R&A’s announcement of a new set of protocols Monday will end the practice of viewer call-ins and emails in the reporting of rules infractions.

    “What we have heard from players and committees is ‘Let’s leave the rules and administration of the event to the players and those responsible for running the tournament,’” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of rules and amateur status.

    Amen.

    The protocols, formed by a working group that included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and the PGA of America, also establish the use of rules officials to monitor the televised broadcasts of events.

    Additionally, the protocols will eliminate the two-shot penalty when a player signs an incorrect scorecard because the player was unaware of a violation.



    Yes, I can hear you folks saying armchair rules officials help make sure every meaningful infraction comes to light. I hear you saying they make the game better, more honest, by helping reduce the possibility somebody violates the rules to win.

    But at what cost?

    The chaos and mayhem armchair referees create can ruin the spirit of fair play every bit as much as an unreported violation. The chaos and mayhem armchair rules officials create can be as much a threat to fair play as the violations themselves.

    The Rules of Golf are devised to protect the integrity of the game, but perfectly good rules can be undermined by the manner and timeliness of their enforcement.

    We have seen the intervention of armchair referees go beyond the ruin of fair play in how a tournament should be conducted. We have seen it threaten the credibility of the game in the eyes of fans who can’t fathom the stupidity of a sport that cannot separate common-sense enforcement from absolute devotion to the letter of the law.

    In other sports, video review’s timely use helps officials get it right. In golf, video review too often makes it feel like the sport is getting it wrong, because timeliness matters in the spirit of fair play, because the retroactive nature of some punishments are as egregious as the violations themselves.  

    We saw that with Lexi Thompson at the ANA Inspiration this year.

    Yes, she deserved a two-shot penalty for improperly marking her ball, but she didn’t deserve the two-shot penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard. She had no idea she was signing an incorrect scorecard.

    We nearly saw the ruin of the U.S. Open at Oakmont last year, with Dustin Johnson’s victory clouded by the timing of a video review that left us all uncertain if the tournament was playing out under an incorrect scoreboard.

    “What these protocols are put in place for, really, is to make sure there are measures to identify the facts as soon as possible, in real time, so if there is an issue to be dealt with, that it can be handled quickly and decisively,” Pagel said.

    Amen again.

    We have pounded the USGA for making the game more complicated and less enjoyable than it ought to be, for creating controversy where common sense should prevail, so let’s applaud executive director Mike Davis, as well as the R&A, for putting common sense in play.

    Yes, this isn’t a perfect answer to handling rules violations.

    There are trap doors in the protocols that we are bound to see the game stumble into, because the game is so complex, but this is more than a good faith effort to make the game better.

    This is good governance.

    And compared to the glacial pace of major rules change of the past, this is swift.

    This is the USGA and R&A leading a charge.

    We’re seeing that with the radical modernization of the Rules of Golf scheduled to take effect in 2019. We saw it with the release of Decision 34/3-10 three weeks after Thompson’s loss at the ANA, with the decision limiting video review to “reasonable judgment” and “naked eye” standards. We’re hearing it with Davis’ recent comments about the “horrible” impact distance is having on the game, leading us to wonder if the USGA is in some way gearing up to take on the golf ball.

    Yes, the new video review protocols aren’t a panacea. Rules officials will still miss violations that should have been caught. There will be questions about level playing fields, about the fairness of stars getting more video review scrutiny than the rank and file. There will be questions about whether viewer complaints were relayed to rules officials.

    Golf, they say, isn’t a game of perfect, and neither is rules enforcement, though these protocols make too much sense to be pilloried. They should be applauded. They should solve a lot more problems than they create.

    Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

    By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

    Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.

    David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.

    “Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.

    Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.

    “I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”

    Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

    The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.

    Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.

    Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:

    1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.

    2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.

    While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”