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Golf

  • South African wins LPGA event in China
    HAINAN ISLAND, China – South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace won the rain-shortened Blue Bay LPGA on Monday for her first LPGA Tour title and second worldwide victory in nine days.
  • 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.
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Leader board
At Southport, England
Royal Birkdale
Yards: 6,458 Par: 72
Final round
Score Par
Mo Martin 69-69-77-72–287 -1
Shanshan Feng 73-71-69-75–288 E
Suzann Pettersen 72-73-68-75–288 E
Inbee Park 72-72-68-77–289 +1
Associated Press
Mo Martin celebrates after winning the Women’s British Open golf championship at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club on Sunday.

American’s 1st win: Women’s British

– Mo Martin knew she hit her 3-wood exactly how she wanted on the 18th hole at Royal Birkdale.

With the ball slightly below her feet, just under 240 yards away and a strong wind at her back, she let it rip and watched the ball track toward the flag. Martin thought it was short. Then she thought it might be too long. Moments later, she realized just how good it was.

“I could hear it hit the pin from the fairway,” Martin said. “That was a pretty fun feeling.”

The ball rolled into the center of the flagstick and settled 6 feet away for an eagle, and when no one could catch her, the 31-year-old American became a major champion Sunday at the Women’s British Open.

“I think I still need to be pinched,” Martin said after closing with an even-par 72 for a one-shot victory over Shanshan Feng of China and Suzann Pettersen of Norway.

It was Martin’s first eagle of the year – one of the shortest hitters in the game, she doesn’t get many opportunities. She had not won on the LPGA Tour in 63 previous tries. And on a wind-swept Sunday when no one broke par, she was never closer than two shots of the leaders the entire final round.

The best shot of her life changed everything.

“An absolutely perfect 3-wood,” she said. “When it was in the air, I said, ‘Sit.’ And then I said, ‘Stop.’ And then when it was going toward the hole, I said, ‘OK, I don’t have anything more to say to that ball.’ I actually heard it hit the pin. It’s definitely one to remember.”

An hour later, it turned out to be the winning shot when Feng and Inbee Park of South Korea couldn’t stay under par.

Both needed one birdie over the two par-5 closing holes at Royal Birkdale. Feng missed birdie putts of 15 and 10 feet and shot 75. Park missed a 12-foot birdie putt on the 17th, and then put her tee shot in the right rough on the easy 18th hole and wound up with a bogey for a 77.

Martin, who finished at 1-under 287, was on the practice range preparing for a playoff that never happened when she hugged her caddie, Kyle Morrison.

“Is this real life?” she said.

It seemed like a fairy tale for Martin. Growing up with modest means, her father built a cage in their driveway for her to practice hitting balls. She walked on at UCLA. She needed financial help to keep her dream alive, including the six years it took just to reach the LPGA Tour. Martin said she would keep trying if she woke up happy, felt she was still contributing something to women’s golf and could pay her bills.

It was a disappointment for Park, trying to become the seventh woman to capture four of the LPGA’s major. She had a two-shot lead at the turn until the high grass grabbed the bottom of her wedge on the 10th, sending her to a double bogey. She fell out of the lead by going long on the 14th for bogey, and never caught up.

“Made a lot of mistakes that I really didn’t need to make,” Park said. “Obviously the last hole drive was really disappointing.”

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