Sat, Jul 10, 2004 - Page 20 News List

Mallon takes early lead at Canadian Women's Open

AP , NIAGARA FALLS, ONTARIO

Meg Mallon, who won the US Women's Open last week, had a 7-under 65 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead in the first round of the Canadian Women's Open.

It was a seven-birdie, bogey-free round and seemed an extension of her final-round 6-under 65 last Sunday when she won her second US Open.

Gloria Park, Johanna Head and Kris Tschetter were at 5-under, while Jennifer Rosales, Dawn Coe-Jones and Angela Stanford were another stroke back in the US$1.3 million event at Legends on the Niagara.

Mallon rallied from a three-stroke deficit to win last weekend. She has extended her streak to 43 straight holes without a bogey -- the third-longest stretch on the LPGA Tour the season. And she is 17 under for her last three rounds of competition.

Mallon, who only played in Wednesday's Pro-Am, credited the time she took to rest this week.

"I felt like my legs were back with me again," she said.

Besides Mallon, who's second on the money list, it's a wide-open field reflective of an event that's missing Annika Sorenstam and Grace Park, who have combined to win five of this year's 15 tournaments.

Mallon was strong in taking on the 3-year-old course, which features large, undulating greens that place an emphasis on accurate approach shots and putting. And she was unfazed by the changing weather. Playing through rain, sun and a persistent breeze, she required only 25 putts and hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation.

Mallon opened with a 9-foot birdie and was 5 under through eight holes. Mallon's best was on 14, where she made a 30-footer for birdie.

She was relaxed and displayed poise, particularly during a 5-minute delay in which she helped a course official with a ruling after Kang Soo-yun went into the water on No. 16.

Rosales had the most frustrating day among the leaders, seeming to relive in one round her up-then-down performance at the US Open, where she led after 54 holes only to finish fourth.

After going to 6 under through 17 on Thursday, Rosales double-bogeyed the par-4 9th, her final hole, requiring two shots to get out of a fairway bunker.

"I was greedy. I got too aggressive and paid for it," she said. "It's tough to take, but you have to move on."

So much for erasing the lingering US Open memories.

This story has been viewed 2308 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top