Martin wins Women's British with eagle at 18

By Doug FergusonJuly 13, 2014, 4:47 pm

SOUTHPORT, England - Mo Martin hit the best shot of her life, and it made her a major champion Sunday in the Women's British Open.

From the middle of the fairway on the par-5 18th hole at Royal Birkdale, Martin ripped a 3-wood that she first thought was too short, and then worried might be too long. It turned out to be close to perfect. The ball hit the middle of the pin and settled 6 feet away for an eagle.

An hour later, that turned out to be the winning shot for the 31-year-old American when Inbee Park and Shanshan Feng could not stay under par.

''I think I still need to be pinched,'' Martin said.

A strong wind finally arrived off the Irish Sea, bringing an air of unpredictability to the final round of the Ricoh Women's British Open.

But this was the topper.

Martin is among the shortest hitters in the game, and won with an eagle - her first of the year. It took her six years just to reach the LPGA Tour, and her first victory in her 64th tournament came in a major championship. She closed with an even-par 72 on a day so tough that no one broke par.

Martin was the only player to break par for the championship, finishing at 1-under 287 for a one-shot victory over Feng and Suzann Pettersen.

Feng made eight straight pars - that constituted a charge on this demanding day - and had the outright lead until she made bogey on the 16th hole. A playoff looked likely because the two closing holes at Royal Birkdale are par 5s. Feng missed birdie chances of about 15 feet and 10 feet. She shot 75.



Park, who started the day with a one-shot in her quest to become only the seventh woman to capture four of the LPGA's majors, fell out of the lead by going long on the par-3 14th hole and never caught up. She missed a 12-foot birdie putt on the 17th, and then put her tee shot into the right rough on the easy 18th hole. Her third shot found a bunker, and Park made bogey for a 77.

Pettersen finished birdie-birdie to share second place, but her hopes in effect ended with a double bogey - her second of the round - on the 13th hole.

That left Martin, a UCLA mighty mite who stands no more than 5-foot-2, alone on the range getting ready for a playoff that never happened.

All because of one shot.

''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.''

Americans now have won the first three majors of the LPGA Tour season for the first time since 1999, following Lexi Thompson at the Kraft Nabisco Championship and Michelle Wie at the U.S. Women's Open.

A more likely candidate would have been Stacy Lewis, the defending champion, who also started only three shots behind. Lewis didn't make a birdie until the 18th hole and closed with a 78. Wie missed the cut, and Thompson finished 15 shots out of the lead.

Martin had a three-shot lead going into the weekend, building her strategy on keeping the ball in the fairway. But she had a 77 in the third round, and that figured to be the end of her chances. After two bogeys in five holes to start the final round, she was solid the rest of the way.

''Absolutely a dream come true,'' Martin said. ''Safe to say it's the best week of my life.''

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.