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Golf

  • Europe retains the Ryder Cup
    The Ryder Cup is staying in Europe. Jamie Donaldson assured Europe the 14 points it needed to keep the precious gold trophy on Sunday when he went 4 up with four holes to play against Keegan
  • Europe facing US challenge in Ryder Cup singles
    With Rory McIlroy leading the way, the Europeans are trying to withstand a U.S. challenge in Sunday's singles matches as they seek to maintain their grip on the Ryder Cup.
  • Leading 10-6, Europe closing in on Cup
    Justin Rose swept that magical putter into the air before his ball even reached the hole, and he punched his right fist when it dropped for a birdie.
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Leader board
At Southport, England
Royal Birdkdale
Yards: 6,458 Par: 72
Second round
Score Par
Mo Martin 69-69–138 -6
Beatriz Recari 74-67–141 -3
So Yeon Ryu 71-70–141 -3
Sun-Ju Ahn 75-67–142 -2
Julieta Granada 72-70–142 -2
Associated Press
American Mo Martin, the second-round leader, lines up a putt on the ninth green at the Women’s British Open on Friday.

Accurate American leads British by 3

– Mo Martin had a plan for Royal Birkdale, and it’s working better than she imagined at the Women’s British Open.

Martin took two putts from short of the green on the par-5 18th hole Friday for her 10th birdie in two rounds, and her second straight 3-under 69. That gave the American a three-shot lead over Beatriz Recari of Spain and former U.S. Women’s Open champion So Yeon Ryu going into the weekend.

“It’s always nice when your plan pans out,” Martin said. “So it’s fun to be here.”

For Michelle Wie, it was fun while it lasted

Coming off her first major in the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst No. 2, Wie kept putting herself in tough spots and couldn’t convert enough pars. She followed her highest score of the year (75) with one that was even worse, a 78 to miss the cut by three shots.

Wie was among the favorites. It was easy to overlook the 31-year-old Martin, who has never won an LPGA Tour event and is playing links golf for only the third time.

She is 5-foot-2 and among the shortest hitters in women’s golf. That figured into her strategy at Royal Birkdale, which is littered with pot bunkers and is framed by dunes covered in thick grass.

“Every hole you have something to think about. Every single shot you have something to think about,” Martin said. “But there’s fairway there, and there’s green there, and that’s what I’m focusing on. ... My caddie and I just figured out where the widest parts of the fairway were, where I would have the best approaches into the greens.”

She made it sound so simple, even as Royal Birkdale has been plenty tough in pristine weather for these parts – a steady wind, but not as strong as it could be.

Martin was at 6-under 138, one of only two players to break par in both rounds.

Ryu was the other, overcoming a double bogey on her second hole by not dropping a shot the rest of the way. She shot 70 and was at 3-under 141. Recari, who arrived at Birkdale with a sore wrist that she attributed to no one helping her carry her luggage in the airport, birdied the last three holes for a 67.

Ahn Sun-Ju also had six birdies in a round of 67 that left her one shot behind at 2-under 142, along with Julieta Granada (70). Only nine players were under par when the cut was made at 6-over 150.

Karrie Webb, the only woman to win five of the LPGA’s majors, began her back nine with a triple bogey and picked up a bogey on the par-5 17th for a 79 to miss the cut.

Ayako Uehara, the first-round leader with a 68, shot a 44 on the back nine for a 79 and fell nine shots behind. And then there was Lexi Thompson, the Kraft Nabisco winner, who began her round by hitting two shots out of bounds and making a 10. Thompson fought back for a 77.

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