2004: LPGA - Open and shut: Mallon cruises in Canada
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Meg Mallon rode the considerable momentum from her U.S. Women’s Open victory to another national championship – this time, the BMO Financial Group Canadian Women’s Open.
Coming off a record final-round 65 at The Orchards Golf Club that earned Mallon her second career U.S. Open victory July 4, the 41-year-old then went out and shot a pair of 65s in four days for her third Canadian Open title. Mallon, who also won in 2000 and 2002, matched Pat Bradley (1980, ’85, ‘86) for most victories in this event.
Mallon finished at 18-under-par 270 July 11 to defeat defending champion Beth Daniel by four strokes at the Legends on the Niagara and become the first woman to win both the U.S. and Canadian titles in the same year.
“Well, I’ve got France and England next,” said Mallon, referring to the Evian Masters and Women’s British Open, the next two events on her schedule.
She also became only the third LPGA player to follow a U.S. Women’s Open victory with another tour title the following week. Se Ri Pak was the last to do so in 1998 by winning the Jamie Farr Kroger Classic, joining Jane Geddes, who accomplished the feat in 1986. Louise Suggs also won her next event in 1952, but the All-America Women’s Open was held six weeks after the U.S. Open.
Mallon began the final round with a four-shot lead over Daniel and was never threatened Sunday, leading by as many as six shots. Her 18-under total matched a tournament record for lowest score, set by Brandie Burton in 1998 in Windsor, Ontario. Lorena Ochoa and Jean Bartholomew tied for third at 12 under.
“This has been my 18th year on tour and it’s been such a rewarding career, but I’ve never had two weeks like this,” Mallon said. “It’s going to take a while to absorb. It’s been incredible.”
Mallon started the tournament with four birdies in her first five holes and had only two bogeys the entire week – on Nos. 12 and 13 in the second round.
With her back-to-back victories and the $195,000 first-place prize, Mallon went over the $1 million mark in 2004 earnings and is a solid No. 2 on the LPGA money list with $1,002,194.
Perhaps Daniel summed it up best: “She’s on a run right now that every golfer dreams about.”