American Mo Martin had never finished higher than 29th in an LPGA major championship but she eagled the 72nd hole to win the British Open at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club in England.
Martin, who is in her third season on the LPGA tour looked like she lost her opportunity to win the tournament when the 31-year-old missed a birdie putt on the 17th hole that would have pulled her to within one stroke of the leader, 4-time major champion Inbee Park.
But on the 18th hole, with the leaders still having several holes to play, Martin landed her drive in the middle of the fairway. With winds greater than 20 mph on the 18th hole, Martin had a chance to reach the green with her second shot, where a 2-putt would pull her within one stroke and put pressure on the leaders.
With nothing to lose, she grabbed her 3-wood and went for it.
The result was even better than she could have imagined as the ball struck the pin, nearly scoring a double-eagle which would have given her the outright lead.
She celebrated with a little dance in the fairway.
This left Martin with an easy eagle putt and a share of the lead. Of course, things are never easy on the final hole of a major and the ball just dropped in on the left side.
What an amazing time to sink her first eagle of the year.
But there was still work to do. Moments later, Park bogeyed the 14th hole and suddenly Martin had the lead all to herself. But with the par-5 18th still awaiting Park as one of only two holes to play under-par on average in the final round, Martin took to the driving range.
But after Park’s drive on the 18th hole landed in the rough and an approach shot ended up in the greenside bunker, she needed to sink her shot from the bunker to force a playoff. She left the shot well short.
ESPN cameras captured the moment Martin’s caddy informed her that Park had missed and Martin was the British Open champion.
After Martin started the day seventh on the leaderboard, it was a perfect 18th hole and an incredible final few holes for the woman that had never even held a lead after any round on the LPGA tour.
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