Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mallon Memories

As I look back on this first round of the Women's Open, my thoughts are with my good friend Meg Mallon. It's strange to think that she isn't here this week, after all, she's been a solid fixture at the Women's Open for the last 23 years. Meg has a special relationship with this Championship, winning it twice. The first time Meg won was in 1991, her breakout year on the LPGA when she won both the LPGA Championship (Bethesda CC) and the Open (Colonial) within a three week period. Those were two big wins in a 4 tournament winning season. Meg played in a total of 23 US Open's and had 8 top 10's, including a 4th place finish here at Oakmont CC back in 1992.

Meg's not here because she has decided to step quietly away from LPGA tournament golf. After several years struggling with injuries and personal issues, including the death of her father, sickness of her beloved mother and most recently the passing of her wonderful sister Tricia, Meg gave her career one more attempt. While physically she felt solid, she discovered she lacked that internal drive to get the ball into the hole as efficiently as possible. If your heart isn't in it 100%, it's time to move onward. A great champion like Meg can't just walk the fairways going through the motions.

I applaud Meg's decision to step away. So many people stay on the eternal treadmill, following the same path out of a sense of duty or because it's what they've always done. It takes courage and honesty to look at oneself and change the way your living your life, even if it's "comfortable". I will miss seeing Meg's smiling face and the classy way she played this game and I know a lot of players feel the same way. Good news for me is that Meg has been a longtime friend of mine, starting in 1987 when we played a round of qualifying school together.
I'll get to enjoy Meg the wonderful person for many years to come. If any of you are wondering, Meg is even more fabulous to be around off the golf course than on.


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