Meg Mallon was wet, tired and in danger of missing her flight to France, but she was happy. The 14-year LPGA Tour veteran captured the 12th victory of her career at the rain-soaked Wegmans Rochester International by two strokes over Australia's Wendy Doolan.
A soggy Mallon, who finished at 280 (-8), posted an impressive five-under-par 67 in the final round despite steady rain, swirling wind and increasingly cold temperatures at the Locust Hill Country Club course. Mallon fought through the downpour to card six birdies and a lone bogey and claim her eighth career come-from-behind victory.
"I haven't played in rain like this in a very long time," said Mallon, who shortly after accepting the $150,000 winner's check, boarded a charter flight that would connect with her flight to Evian, France, for the Evian Ladies Masters. "I can't ever remember winning a golf tournament having it this wet outside. That was a soaker. Now I have a nine-and-a-half hour flight in these clothes. I'm not happy about that, but I've still got a big smile on my face."
Mallon started the day at three-under-par, two shots behind third-round leader Dale Eggeling, and climbed into a tie for the lead at five-under-par following birdies on the second and third holes. The two would trade the lead several times, but Mallon took the lead for good with a birdie on the par-5 11th hole to go to six-under-par.
Meanwhile, Doolan was charging. The Aussie, who has posted top-10 finishes in four of her last six starts, climbed up the leaderboard, helped by three consecutive birdies on holes 10-12 and an eagle-two on the 376-yard, par-four 13th. Doolan finished with another birdie on 17 for a tournament-low 66. In the clubhouse at 282 (-6), Doolan realized she had a chance to win for the first time all day.
"I had no idea what was going on," said Doolan, who recorded her career-best finish. "I didn't look at the scoreboard until I holed out on 18. I had no clue I was so close. I always play like that."
But close was all Doolan would come, as Mallon sank birdie putts on 16 and 17 to go to eight-under-par for the tournament.
"Today I just came out with the same thoughts as I had yesterday," said Doolan, who took home $93,092 for second place. "I got a couple of putts going in on the back nine and it just rolled on from there. As far as it played, the actual course played the same, but the conditions were different every day. It kept everybody thinking. But golf doesn't stop for rain."
Eggeling carded a 73 (+1) and finished at 284 (-4) to take third place, her best finish of the 2000 season. Rosie Jones, a two-time Wegmans Rochester International winner, finished fourth at 285 (-3). Cindy Figg-Currier and Cristie Kerr tied for fifth at 286 (-2). Kerr recorded a 66 (-6) on Sunday to tie Doolan for the lowest round of the tournament.