-1 M Martin 

E S Feng
    S Pettersen
+1 I Park

Little known Mo Martin became the new Women’s British Open champion after a wonder shot to the 72nd hole saw her rocket into red figures – and then watched as her nearest competitors all fell away.

Playing six groups ahead of Inbee Park and Suzann Pettersen the 31-year-old eagled the last after her 3-wood approach smacked into the pin.

She kept her nerve to hole the resulting eight-footer and then had an hour to wait as both Shanshan Feng and Park went backwards. This is the first time since 1999 that Americans have won each of the first three Majors.

Martin’s three previous wins had all come on the Futures Tour in the States, her best finish in a Major had been a tie for 29th in this year’s Kraft Nabisco while this was just her third Women’s British Open (MC 2012, T57 2013).

After two days Martin had opened up a three-shot lead, she then had a back nine of 41 to fall away to a 77. But her level-par 72 on Sunday, the joint best score of a blustery day, was enough to put her at one under and become the game’s most recent Major champion.

Of the eagle the Californian said: “It was a full 3-wood off a bit of a left-to-right lie. I said sit, then go and then I didn’t know what else to say. I actually heard it hit the flag and that’s when I just said ‘Oh my God’.

“For the putt I wanted to get the best read on it, put a good stroke on it and I did. I wasn’t sure about my lines, I backed off once and it went in.”

"I said sit, then go and then I didn’t know what else to say" – Mo Martin Martin then spent an hour in the clubhouse and at the practice ground before news quickly came through that Feng had missed the green at the last. Then, in the last group, Park missed the fairway and then the green in three while Pettersen, needing an eagle, could only birdie.

Martin, at 5”2 is one of the shorter hitters on Tour, and her plan to tackle Royal Birkdale came off a treat.

“The first time I saw Royal Birkdale I fell in love with it. The layout is absolutely phenomenal. My caddie and I put some really good work in. He’s a great emotional support as well, he keeps me on the level.

“I’m ecstatic about my preparation and strategy and the way I was able to execute. It’s just wonderful, I’m really happy. This was my first eagle of the year, there are not a lot of par 5s that I can go for on Tour as I’m not the longest hitter!”

Mark Townsend

Been watching and playing golf since the early 80s and generally still stuck in this period. Huge fan of all things Robert Rock, less so white belts. Handicap of 8, fragile mind and short game

Handicap: 8

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