Mallon claims rare North American double

Meg Mallon added a Canadian Open win to last week's U.S. Open win, completing the first-ever North American double.

Updated: July 12, 2004, 1:59 AM ET
Associated Press

NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario -- Look out, Annika.

A week after Meg Mallon held off Sorenstam in the U.S. Women's Open, the 41-year-old former Ohio State star shot a 2-under 70 Sunday for a four-stroke victory in the Canadian Women's Open.

"I know this is going to fire her up a little bit," Mallon said. "She's going to come out full guns the next couple of weeks."

While Sorenstam took the week off, Mallon finished at 18-under 270 on the Legends on the Niagara's Battlefield Course. She's 28 under in her last six rounds and has played 95 of her last 97 holes at par or better.

"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. I don't know what to say."

Beth Daniel, the 2003 winner in British Columbia, closed with a 70 to finish second, and Jean Bartholomew (69) and Mexico's Lorena Ochoa (70) tied for third at 12 under.

Daniel spent the round shaking her head at how Mallon protected her lead with some impressive putts that got her out of trouble.

"When you're on a roll like Meg is, those things go in your favor," Daniel said. "But she did exactly what she had to do, and it was never a contest."

Ochoa knew her chances were done when she looked up at the leaderboard at No. 9 and saw Mallon wasn't fading.

"It didn't happen in the front, so I knew I wasn't going to get closer to Meg," Ochoa said. "I wish there were more holes."

Mallon made a 15-foot birdie putt on No. 5 and an 8-footer on No. 8. She also was impressive on several par-saving putts, such as No. 3, when she holed 9-footer on the sloped green _ with the ball rolling in from the side _ to stay even.

"That was a bonus. I figured, `OK, you can make bogey here,"' Mallon said. "The putter was just outstanding."

Mallon won her 17th LPGA Tour title and became the first woman to win both the U.S. and Canadian titles in the same year. And her 18-under total matched the tournament record for lowest score, set by Brandie Burton in 1998 in Windsor.

She also became only the third U.S. Women's Open champion to win an LPGA Tour event the following week, joining Se Ri Pak (1998) and Jane Geddes (1986). Louise Suggs also won consecutive events in 1952, but that's when the All-America Women's Open was held six weeks after the U.S. Women's Open.

It was the first time Mallon has won consecutive events, and she became the first to do so since Candie Kung won the Wachovia LPGA Classic and State Farm Classic last August. Mallon, also the 2000 and '02 winner in Canada, matched Pat Bradley's tournament record of three victorues.

Dawn Coe-Jones (71) and Lorie Kane (68) were the top Canadians, tying for fifth at 11 under. A Canadian has not won the tournament since Jocelyne Bourassa took the inaugural event in 1973.

Mallon, taking this week, is running out of national championships to win this season.

"Well, I've got France and England next," she said, referring to the Evian Masters and Women's British Open.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press