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Meg Mallon shot a 6-under-par 65 for a 72-hole championship total of 10-under 274 to earn a two-stroke victory at the 59th U.S. Women’s Open, held at the par-71, 6,473-yard Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley, Mass.

It was the second Women’s Open title for Mallon, 41, who won her first in 1991 at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. The 13 years between first and last Open titles is the longest in championship history, surpassing the six-year span for Hollis Stacy. The 65 also was the lowest final-round score by a Women’s Open champion and it matched the lowest score in the final round by anyone in the championship’s history.

Mallon’s brilliance overshadowed an excellent final 18 by Annika Sorenstam. The Swede carded a 67 for an 8-under total of 276 but finished as the runner-up for the third time in her career. Kelly Robbins, who was in the three-way 18-hole playoff at Pumpkin Ridge in 2003, finished third at 6-under 287, while third-round leader Jennifer Rosales dropped to fourth after a final-round 4-over 75.

Mallon’s round was highlighted by her putter, starting with a 54-foot birdie at the fourth that got the momentum going.

“The hole was like a bucket,” added Mallon, who earned $560,000 with her victory.

By the ninth hole, Mallon, who at one point on the front nine trailed Rosales by four strokes, had caught Rosales at 6 under. Rosales started strong with a birdie on the first hole to move to 8 under but started to unravel at the seventh hole when she missed a 6-footer for par.

Mallon grabbed the outright lead on No. 9 with a 2-foot birdie and never lost it, even though Sorenstam applied pressure late with birdies at the 17th and 18th holes.

There was no clearer sign that the championship was Mallon’s than on the par-4 15th hole.

Before hitting her approach, Mallon had some indecision due to the swirling winds. The shot bounded to the right of the green and into deep rough. A bogey or worse looked possible, especially after she chunked the chip, leaving herself some 30 feet from the hole on the fringe. But she struck the putt perfectly and the ball went dead-center into the hole.

“I was so relaxed over that putt, and it goes in. What are you going to do? It’s your day when things like that happen,” said Mallon.


Starts - 22

Best Finish - Winner 1991 & 2004

Rds - 75

Cuts Made - 16

Top 3 - 4

Top 5 - 6

Top 10 - 8

Top 25 - 12

Avg. - 72.75

Scores In 60s - 12

Rds Under Par - 21

Earnings - $1,287,067.67
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