Mo Martin of the United States earned her first major championship at the Ricoh Women’s British Open with a stunning eagle on the final hole at Royal Birkdale.
Martin had signed her card for a closing 72 - the joint lowest round of the final day – finishing one-under-par. To complete what she called a 'Cinderella story.'
South Korea’s Inbee Park was the overnight leader. Park needed a birdie on the last to tie, but uncharacteristically hit her tee shot into thick rough and took bogey. Norwegian Suzann Pettersen ended with a birdie when she needed an eagle to tie, which saw the American take the title.
Martin’s round had a fairytale finish when she hit her ball straight into the centre of the pin flag on 18 using a 3-wood. She then holed a putt of six feet for eagle.
"Safe to say, it’s the best week of my life.” - Mo Martin
After an anxious hour’s wait on the driving range, the news was eventually delivered and she burst into laughter before embracing her caddie. She was then driven back to the 18th green and sprayed in champagne.
This was Martin’s first win on a major tour and when asked if the shot into 18 was the best of her life, the 31-year-old Californian said: “Yeah, absolutely 100 per cent. It’s kind of a Cinderella story. Safe to say, it’s the best week of my life.”
Mo Martin dedicates major to late grandfather
Martin credited her coach Ian Triggs, who encouraged her to change from a long to a short putter last year. The most accurate driver on the LPGA for the last two years, this was a victory of accuracy over power.
Earlier in the week, Mo Martin had explained how her strategy was to aim for a spot on the widest parts of the fairways, where she would have the best approaches into the greens. She dedicated the win to her late grandfather, Lincoln Martin, who passed away earlier this year aged 102.
“It was a tough day of golf today. I mean, it was very windy and this course is very challenging. So stayed patient and I fortunately played some really good golf today," said Mo Martin.
“From the first time I saw Royal Birkdale, I fell in love with it. I think the layout is absolutely phenomenal.”