DELRAY BEACH, FLA. – Hometown favorite and popular LPGA Tour veteran Meg Mallon closed out a wire-to-wire victory today on the LPGA Legends Tour.
The Delray Beach resident recorded scores of 69-72 to win the 36-hole Walgreens Charity Championship at 3-under 141, edging out good friend Juli Inkster of California. Inkster finished second at one-under 142.
Mallon was greeted on the 18th green at The Seagate Country Club by fellow players and determined fans who stuck around through rain showers throughout the day and a morning weather suspension. With Inkster watching from greenside, Mallon two-putted for par with an 18-foot uphill stroke and a tricky two-foot downhill par putt to win the season-ending championship and claim her first Legends Tour victory.
“It was not my best golf today, but I hung in there and fortunately, nobody went low,” said Mallon, 51, who collected $30,000 for the win. “That last putt was actually a big knee-knocker that snuck into the left side [of the cup]. I was about one roll away from being in a playoff.”
With impending inclement weather in Sunday’s final-round forecast, Legends Tour players teed off on the first and tenth holes in an effort to complete the 36-hole tournament. Rains grew in intensity with lightning in the area, suspending play at 10:10 a.m.
Mallon birdied the first hole today and faced an 18-foot birdie opportunity on the second green when play was suspended. When play resumed at 12:45 p.m., she went on to birdie No. 6 and moved to five under for the tournament with a three-shot lead over Danielle Ammaccapane of California.
But Mallon struggled to hold her lead after the weather suspension. She took bogey on No. 7, birdied the 10th, and went on to post three more bogeys and one birdie on the back nine holes.
“It was difficult going back out after the rain delay and getting a rhythm again,” admitted Mallon, whose last victory came in 2004 with three LPGA wins that season.
“It was a mental fight the whole way in,” added Mallon, an 18-time LPGA Tour winner whose last full LPGA Tour season was 2010. “Holding a lead is not easy, especially when I don’t play as much golf any more.”
Mallon credited her pairing with Ammaccapane in today’s final round for keeping her motivated as the damp day slogged on. A tenacious fighter, Ammaccapane struggled on the front nine, turning at two over, but played the back nine at one-under par.
“Danielle kept me mentally focused because she was hitting shots and making putts,” said Mallon.
Inkster was hoping to win her Legends Tour debut in stroke play this week before heading to compete in next week’s LPGA Tour event in Mexico. The Hall of Famer admitted that her putting let her down this weekend.
“I played well, but I didn’t make any putts and I missed a couple of juniors,” said Inkster of her putting effort. “It’s always fun to compete, but you want to win. I just messed up on the greens.”
Tied for third at 1-under 143 were Ammaccapane (73), Rosie Jones (70), Liselotte Neumann (71) and Michele Redman (68).
Alicia Dibos (73), Pat Hurst (73) and Trish Johnson (69) tied for seventh at even-par 144.