Mallon Still Overwhelmed by Open Win

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NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario -- Meg Mallon was still having trouble comprehending what she accomplished last weekend.
 
'I'm a little rested but I'm still pretty overwhelmed and exhausted from the whole experience,' Mallon said Tuesday, two days after she won the U.S. Women's Open. 'Yeah, it was incredible.'
 
Mallon is competing in the LPGA Canadian Women's Open, which gets under way Thursday on the Legends on the Niagara course. She has won it twice in the last four years.
 
But not even having a hotel room with a panoramic view of one of the world's natural wonders could distract her from reliving the memories of last Sunday. Mallon shot a 6-under 65 to hold off Annika Sorenstam and win her second U.S. Open title.
 
'I think I went through every entire shot about 5,000 times in my head,' Mallon said. 'It was an amazing round.'
 
It was her 16th career victory - fourth in a major - and she didn't have a bogey over the final 25 holes. The $560,000 in winnings vaulted Mallon from 20th place to second on the LPGA's money list, and provided her a boost entering the second half of the season.
 
'I know better than anybody that when you're playing well, you've got to ride it as long as you can,' Mallon said. 'And certainly I'm going to try to take this confidence and try and ride that and hopefully have a great rest of the year.'
 
And yet Mallon doesn't know how much energy she's got left to sustain momentum heading into this tournament.
 
'The U.S. Open itself wears you out,' said Mallon, an 18-year LPGA veteran. 'Going through that experience and everything that goes with it, at some point in time I'm going to have a crash.'
 
After taking two days off, Mallon will find out what she's got left by competing in Wednesday's Pro-Am on the fairway-friendly, 3-year-old course.
 
There's at least one thing in her favor. Compared to last weekend, Mallon leads a watered down field competing for a share of the $1.3 million purse.
 
Only six of the top 10, and 11 of the top 20 money-winners are entered.
 
Sorenstam, the top women's player and 2001 Canadian Open champ, isn't here, and neither is Grace Park, who withdrew Tuesday complaining of a back problem.
 
Other notables not competing are Karrie Webb, Juli Inkster, Rosie Jones and amateur teen phenom Michelle Wie.
 
No big deal, said Mallon.
 
'Annika and Grace are our top two players this year but the state of our game and our tour is that the depth is so great that you can come out and see equally good play,' Mallon said.
 
Among the top players competing are Cristie Kerr, Mi Hyun Kim, Lorena Ochoa, Se Ri Pak and defending champion Beth Daniel.
 
Mallon never considered pulling out of the only Canadian stop on the LPGA schedule, in part because of the success she's had in the tournament, having won it in 2000 and 2002.
 
And with what happened last weekend, why not see how far this roll goes?
 
'You know, as a professional golfer, that days like that don't happen very often,' Mallon said. 'But when you have a day like that, you've just got to let it happen and enjoy it.'
 
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - Canadian Women's Open


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