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Mallon Shakes Off Bad Mood By Winning Sara Lee Classic

April 28, 1996

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Waking up in a bad mood isn’t always the worst thing in life.

Meg Mallon awoke with a foul attitude Sunday morning, something she credited for her second victory of the year in the $600,000 Sara Lee Classic.

``I woke up in the worst mood,″ Mallon said after shooting a final-round 69 for a three-day, 6-under-par 210 and a two-stroke win.

``I said `You got to go out there and play and make the best of it.′ And maybe that just kept me in that frame of mood of just staying calm. I wasn’t wound up or excited about being in the lead. I was just very mellow.

``I’m in a better mood now.″

Starting the day a stroke off the lead, Mallon opened with birdies on the first two holes and then parred the next 14.

Pam Wright joined her atop the leaderboard at 5-under with the second of her three birdies on No. 5 and then took the lead with another birdie on No. 13. But after Wright bogeyed 14, Mallon took the lead with an 8-foot birdie on 17.

Wright, playing with Stephanie Farwig in the group behind Mallon, fell another stroke back by bogeying 17, playing in the group behind Mallon.

As Mallon walked up to the 18th green, her caddy told she was up by two strokes.

``I said `Really?′ He just walked away. He said, `You’re killing me today.′ I just chose not to read the board today, and it turned out to be much better. With the way the way the wind was blowing, I just needed to stick to my game,″ Mallon said.

Wright finished with a 71 to share second with Stephanie Farwig (71).

Mallon said her string of 8- and 10-foot putts to save par prepared her for her birdie putt on 17.

``It was nice to have an 8-footer for birdie rather than par, so I was pretty relaxed on that putt,″ she said.

Wright and Farwig both were seeking their first career victories and heard the crowd when Mallon took the lead on 17. All three were tied until Mallon birdied 17. Farwig immediately followed with a bogey at 16 to drop two shots behind.

``I heard them clapping so I figured she hit a pretty good shot,″ Farwig said. ``At that point, I knew she had been at 5 and had gone to 6. When I bogeyed, I knew I didn’t have enough holes left.″

The winning total matched the tournament’s previous high turned in by Ayako Okamoto in 1990.

Mallon, who won here in 1993, became the Sara Lee’s first repeat winner in the in the tournament’s nine-year history.

She earned $90,000 for her eighth career victory. After going winless since the 1993 Sara Lee, Mallon returned to the victory list on Feb. 24 with a win at the Hawaiian Ladies Open.

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