PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Mo Martin bought that new roof for her late grandfather’s home on his ranch in Porterville, Calif.
That was just another element of the feel-good victory Martin fashioned by breaking through to win the Ricoh Women’s British Open last month.
Martin, 31, captured the imagination of underdogs everywhere, winning her first LPGA title at Royal Birkdale. She spent six years toiling on the Symetra Tour before earning a promotion to the LPGA and arrived for last month's Women's British Open 99th in the Rolex world rankings.
After her victory, Martin said the biggest payday of her life ($474,000) would come in handy in helping to save her grandfather’s ranch. After his death at 102 earlier this year, Martin said there was uncertainty over whether the family would be able to keep his 100-acre ranch. Martin forged a special bond with her grandfather, Lincoln Martin, a character of many talents, including those of a musician and inventor. His ranch became Martin’s second home, and she wore his initials on a necklace playing the Women’s British Open.
Lincoln made his home a sanctuary of special memories for Mo. With her father estranged from her grandfather as she grew up, Mo didn’t really become close to Lincoln until she was playing golf at UCLA. After her father’s death, Mo decided to visit her grandfather at his ranch. When she walked into his office there, she was overwhelmed. He had an entire wall devoted to her - clippings, photos and maps marking her golf journeys.
“I cried when I saw it,” Martin said in March after her grandfather’s death.
Lincoln also built a trophy case for all of Mo’s trophies that she had stored in a garage and moved them to his ranch. Martin recently wrote a check for $10,000 to repair her grandfather's roof and is heartened knowing her victory will keep her sanctuary of memories of her grandfather safe.
Martin's still getting used to her new status as a major champion. She threw out the first pitch at a Dodgers game. She's battling a sprained left thumb that she joked may have been hurt texting responses to all the congratulatory messages she has received.
“I still have Facebook [messages] I haven’t even opened, because the icon says something incredible,” Martin said.