Meg Mallon wins her first LPGA major since '91

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The Independent Online

The last LPGA major in Canada turned into a disappointment for the home fans and a come-from-behind victory for Meg Mallon.

The last LPGA major in Canada turned into a disappointment for the home fans and a come-from-behind victory for Meg Mallon.

Three strokes back to start the day, Mallon played brilliant, high-stakes golf today to win the du Maurier Classic for her first LPGA major title since 1991.

Mallon's 3-under-par 69 gave her a total of 6-under 282, one shot better than Rosie Jones, who finished with a bogey-free 68.

Annika Sorenstam was third, at 284, after a 74.

Lorie Kane, the Canadian who was tied with Sorenstam for the lead after three rounds, wound up tied for fifth. She picked up her first career victory last week and was her nation's best hope for a homegrown champion in the last installment of this tournament.

Kane, Followed by huge galleries all day, ballooned to a 76 to finish the tournament at 2 under.

Du Maurier is a brand name for Imperial Tobacco and sharp restrictions on cigarette advertising taking effect in Canada next year will force the company to cut ties with an event it has sponsored since 1984.

The tournament, rotated among top Canadian courses, has been an LPGA major since 1979, but is likely to lose that status even if it can be saved by another local sponsor.

Mallon was masterful in a four-birdie, one-bogey round at the 6,403-yard Royal Ottawa Golf Club on a hot day.

Her most anxious moment came on the 427-yard, par-4 15th, when she rolled in a 7-foot par putt to stay at 6 under and keep a one-stroke lead over Jones.

Mallon followed that with a 15-foot birdie putt on the 16th for a two-shot lead. With that cushion, Mallon made a cautious bogey at the 18th to win by one.

It was her 13th career tour victory and second this year.

Mallon's only other major championship victories both came in 1991, at the LPGA Championship and the U.S. Open. She has been a fixture on leaderboards at majors for a decade and the du Maurier was the 17th time in her career she has finished in the top 10 in a major championship.

She finished second to Karrie Webb at this year's U.S. Open after a final-round 74.

Sorenstam and Kane figured to duel for the title, but that never happened. They entered the round at 6 under - three better than Mallon and Diana D'Alessio - but Kane bogeyed the first and third holes, Sorenstam the second and fourth.

Kane briefly took a one-shot lead with a birdie on the fourth hole, but then bogeyed the seventh and the eighth holes, while Sorenstam lost yet another stroke at the seventh.

Their staggering start - both shot 3-over 39 on the front nine - let others seize the momentum.

Kane kept her fans' hopes alive, briefly, with a birdie on the 10th from about 10 feet, but then she bogeyed the par-4 13th by failing to get up and down from the rough left of the fringe.

Then she hooked her drive on the par-5 14th out of bounds, made a bogey and fell to 2 under.

Kane, of Prince Edward Island, was trying to become the second Canadian to ever win an LPGA major. Sandra Post won the 1968 LPGA Championship.

Jones started the day at 1 under, but birdied Nos. 3, 6, 8 and 10 to get into second place behind Mallon. She made a sensational par save on the par-4 16th after missing the green left with her approach and chipping to within about 20 feet of the hole.

That kept her one stroke behind Mallon, but Jones missed birdie putts of 15 feet or longer on Nos. 17 and 18 that could have put more pressure on Mallon.

Jones has never won a major championship.

Final scores from the $1.2 million du Maurier Classic on the 6,403-yard (5,827-meter), par-72 Royal Ottawa Golf Club course:

Meg Mallon 73-68-72-69-282 Rosie Jones 74-70-71-68-283 Annika Sorenstam 69-69-72-74-284 Diana D'Alessio 67-73-73-72-285 Juli Inkster 72-68-74-72-286 Lorie Kane 72-67-71-76-286 Becky Iverson 74-74-71-70-289 Karrie Webb 71-72-76-70-289 Se Ri Pak 69-76-72-72-289 Laura Philo 71-69-77-72-289 Kim Williams 71-75-72-72-290 Carin Koch 72-73-74-72-291 Jane Crafter 74-71-75-72-292 Mhairi McKay 70-73-75-74-292 Kristi Albers 69-74-75-74-292 Rachel Hetherington 72-73-73-75-293 Trish Johnson 72-72-70-79-293 Leslie Spalding 71-76-75-72-294 Dana Dormann 72-73-77-72-294 Kelli Kuehne 72-73-76-73-294 Brandie Burton 78-70-72-74-294 Leigh Ann Mills 70-75-74-75-294 Susan Ginter 74-75-73-73-295 Pat Hurst 73-75-74-73-295 Beth Daniel 73-75-73-74-295 Karen Weiss 75-72-74-74-295 Maggie Will 73-73-75-74-295 Betsy King 73-75-72-75-295 Dawn Coe-Jones 73-73-74-75-295 Leta Lindley 72-74-73-76-295 Dorothy Delasin 71-75-73-76-295 Vickie Odegard 74-72-71-78-295 Kellee Booth 75-74-78-69-296 Sophie Gustafson 76-71-77-72-296 Cindy McCurdy 75-71-78-72-296 Jenny Lidback 76-73-74-73-296 Pat Bradley 74-75-74-73-296 Mi Hyun Kim 72-76-73-75-296 Michelle McGann 76-71-74-75-296 Amy Fruhwirth 75-74-76-72-297 Michelle Estill 76-73-75-73-297 Dina Ammaccapane 76-72-76-73-297 Helen Alfredsson 77-72-73-75-297 Kelly Robbins 76-70-75-76-297 Tina Barrett 71-75-75-76-297 Kristal Parker 75-73-77-73-298 Karen Pearce 71-76-78-73-298 Val Skinner 73-71-77-77-298 Catriona Matthew 74-74-72-78-298 Heather Bowie 76-71-78-74-299 Patti Liscio 76-73-75-75-299 Michele Redman 74-71-78-76-299 Gail Graham 76-70-76-77-299 Luciana Bemvenuti 75-70-76-78-299 Wendy Ward 72-76-75-77-300 Kate Golden 77-70-76-77-300 Audra Burks 70-77-76-77-300 Alicia Dibos 75-71-77-77-300 Marisa Baena 69-75-76-80-300 Michelle Bell 75-74-78-74-301 Gloria Park 74-73-78-76-301 Barb Mucha 75-73-75-78-301 Kim Saiki 74-75-75-78-302 Danielle Ammaccapane 71-76-76-79-302 Amy Alcott 77-72-78-76-303 Ashli Bunch 73-75-76-79-303 Charlotta Sorenstam 79-70-76-79-304 Eva Dahllof 76-72-77-79-304 Sally Little 78-71-80-77-306 Heather Daly-Donofrio 4-75-79-78-306 Tracy Hanson 69-77-85-76-307 Tracey Lipp 74-75-80-80-309 Laura Davies 74-75-79-83-311