American Mo Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in stunning fashion yesterday, firing an eagle on the 72nd hole to finish a shot ahead of Norway’s Suzann Pettersen and China’s Shanshan Feng.
Martin’s approach to the 18th struck the flag and finished six feet from the hole to set up a closing round of 72 in windy conditions at Royal Birkdale.
“The second shot is one I’m going to remember. I actually heard it hit the flag,” said Martin, who had recorded just one top-10 finish in 63 previous LPGA starts.
“This was a full three wood. I was off a little bit of a left-to-right lie, which let it feed. At this point, I’m saying ‘sit.’ And then I said ‘go.’ And then I said ‘I don’t know what else to say.’”
Martin had to wait for an hour to see if any of the later starters could match her total of one under par, but Feng and Pettersen both shot 75, although Pettersen did finish with birdies on the 17th and 18th.
“Is this real life?” Martin added when told that she had won. “It was a tough day of golf. It was very windy and this course is very challenging.
“So I stayed patient and I fortunately played some really good golf.
“From the first time I saw Royal Birkdale, I fell in love with it. I think the layout is absolutely phenomenal.”
Overnight leader Inbee Park finished fourth after a closing 77 while English teenager Charley Hull was joint 12th after a disappointing 78.
A closing 73 meant former champion Dame Laura Davies, 50, was the best-placed home player in a share of ninth.
Yorkshire held on to maintain their 100 per cent record in the Northern Counties union league with a 10-8 win over Cumbria at Workington on Saturday.
The White Rose were unbeaten in the morning foursomes, finishing the session 5-1 ahead.
There were wins for Nick Marsh (Huddersfield) and William Whiteoak (Shipley), Daniel Wasteney (Lindrick) and Jamie Bower (Meltham), Jonathan Thomson (Lindrick) and Ben Brewster (Bawtry), Joe Lampkin (Ilkley) and Ben Sardo (Moor Allerton).
Martin Brown (Pike Hills) and Nigel Sweet (Wike Ridge), and Jamie Harrison (Rotherham) and Craig Smith (Pike Hills) earned half points for drawn matches.
But of the 12 singles matches played in the afternoon, only Wasteney, Thomson and Harrison, in the penultimate match, earned wins as Yorkshire prevailed.