Meg Mallon was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame as part of the 2017 class on Tuesday night, going first in delivering remarks ahead of Davis Love III, Lorena Ochoa, Ian Woosnam and golf writer John Hopkins, who inducted broadcaster and journalist Henry Longhurst.
Mallon's speech was a tribute to the people who helped her win four major titles and 18 total LPGA titles. She thanked coaches, caddies, friends, peers and her family for helping her realize her potential and rise to this momentous occasion, a culmination of her career's work.
In the second half of the speech, Mallon took a moment to acknowledge not only that she is gay but that she has been in a relationship with now fellow World Golf Hall of Fame member Beth Daniel for 25 years.
“I have talked a lot about the people who have been instrumental in my career’s success,” Mallon said. “But now I want to mention the person who has been with me for the most fulfilling journey of my life, Beth. We are celebrating 25 years together later this year. While we have endured challenges along the way, I am so grateful and lucky to have this amazing woman by my side. She has taught me so much.”
In one sense, this shouldn't be a big deal in 2017, living in a country where marriage equality is the law of the land. However, it is a remarkable revelation considering how rare it has been for LPGA players to publicly acknowledge their sexuality or relationships.
Mallon thanked the golf media who covered hers and Daniel's careers for not divulging their relationship, allowing them to do it on their terms.
“A large part of making our journey together easier is the respect the golf media has shown us by not making our relationship headlines,” Mallon said. “We have built a great rapport with the golf media over the years, founded on mutual respect, and they have been for the most part fair and accurate in their coverage.”
Mallon turned then to acknowledging members of her family, including her parents and her sister Tricia, who have died. Mallon took more than three months away from the LPGA in 2009 to be with Tricia as she was battling abdominal cancer.
“If there is any regret, it is only that my mom and dad and my sister Tricia are not here to share this with us,” Mallon said. “But my faith comforts me to know they are at peace and watching over us.”