Meg Mallon was smiling that smile golfers beam when they close a round with four birdies. And two were almost eagles.
"Those are easy putts to make when you say, 'Excuse me, may I finish?' I love that," Mallon said Saturday after a six-under-par 65 left her tied with Hee-Won Han for the third-round lead of the LPGA Big Apple Classic in New Rochelle, N.Y. They are at 11-under 202.
Cindy Figg-Currier, who started the round tied for the lead with Han, had a 73 and was alone in third, five strokes back.
Mallon will be trying for her 15th career win. Han is looking for her first.
Han, who lost this tournament in a playoff last year, birdied the 18th hole and finished with a 68.
Mallon's closing run was almost of the spectacular variety as she burned the edge of the cup twice, with her tee shot on the par-three 16th and with her second shot on the par-four 17th.
Mallon birdied No. 8 to get to seven under. She then made six consecutive pars before her closing stretch erased the three-stroke lead Han had with three holes to play.
Suzy Whaley, the 36-year-old club pro from Avon, Conn., who will play in next week's Greater Hartford Open on the PGA Tour, had a second consecutive 75 and was at six over.
Steve Lowery shot a four-under 68 and led Alex Cejka and John E. Morgan by five shots after three rounds in the B.C. Open at Endicott, N.Y.
Lowery, who has led each round, was at 20-under 196. Only 1987 B.C. Open champion Joey Sindelar has led all four rounds.
Lowery was one of 70 players who had to complete the second round in the morning because of a rain delay Friday.
After a 45-minute fog delay, bright sunshine produced near-ideal conditions. Lowery made four birdies on the back nine in finishing his second consecutive 64 to take a four-shot lead into the third round.
Brandt Snedeker won the 78th U.S. Amateur Public Links title at Galloway Township, N.J., with a 10-and-9 match play victory over Dayton Rose. Snedeker qualifies for the 2004 Masters if he remains an amateur.