For the first time in her career America’s Mo Martin is leading a tournament, and a Major at that, going into the weekend! Does the 5’2″ “Mighty Mo” have a plan for navigating the Royal Birkdale two more times? Where’s she getting her help? Does she have any tricks in her bag?
Martin is teeing off with Spain’s Beatriz Recari in the final group on moving day at the RICOH Women’s British Open. England’s young teen star Charley Hull has already finished her round, carding a beautifully played 66. Can Martin deliver another first class performance and get into the house ahead of Hull, who’s now at one stroke under par for the tournament and trailing Martin by five shots.
Martin’s challengers — Stacy Lewis, world ranked number 1 and defending champion, Inbee Park, who’s playing to win the only Major championship not on her resume, rookie phenom Lydia Ko, playing to win and unseat Lewis from the top of the world rankings as well as put a Major victory on her resume — all trail Martin’s lead and face big deficits. Will Martin be able to sustain her momentum and hold on to the three-stroke lead over Recari she slept on last night?
Royal Birkdale is a demanding golf course and to play it effectively requires a singular focus on the shot before you. The rough is punishing. The greens are exacting. But today the holes are cut in accessible locations and Charley Hull, who played in an early group, put nine birdies on her third round card.
The fairway bunkers are waiting and promise an effective one-stroke penalty to any player who finds them. Martin’s accuracy — she’s ranked number one on the LPGA Tour in shot accuracy — is going to figure heavily in keeping her lead.
The weather is beautiful, perfect for golf, and Might Mo says she’s ready to take on Royal Birkdale for a third time.