Originally created 05/17/99

Mallon wins Sara Lee Classic



Meg Mallon's nine-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole Sunday gave her a one-stroke victory over Kris Tschetter and Annika Sorenstam in the final Sara Lee Classic.

Mallon, the only player to win the tournament more than once, earned her third championship in the 12-year history of the event with a tournament-record 17-under-par 199.

Sara Lee Corp. has withdrawn as the title sponsor, and there is no guarantee the LPGA Tour will return to Nashville.

"This is obviously a bittersweet moment for our tour," Mallon said. "The emotions just came out. As soon as the last putt was put in, the whole thing just hit me."

It was Mallon's second victory of the year and the first win by an American-born player in four weeks. With birdies on the last two holes, Mallon took the tournament lead for the first time on the 54th and final hole.

"I didn't find my golf swing until the last five holes," Mallon said.

Sorenstam three-putted on the 17th hole to lose the top spot she had taken from second-round leader Michelle McGann earlier Sunday.

"It wasn't a misread, it was a bad putt," Sorenstam said.

She then missed an 18-foot birdie putt on the 18th that would have forced the Sara Lee's third straight playoff.

Tshcetter led Mallon by a stroke as they started the 18th, but Tschetter's drive bounced off a cart path and she wound up with a bogey. It was her third bogey of the back nine.

LPGA leading money-winner Karrie Webb recovered from a terrible opening round to post a 13-under-par 203. Webb has finished in the top 10 of all 11 tournaments she has entered this year.

"I'll take it," Webb said. "I just wanted to have a good round today. I really did that."

Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez, who said the Sara Lee was her favorite tour stop, fought back the tears after her round and said: "It's very hard. I just want to thank Nashville for all they've done to support the LPGA Tour."