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Defending champ Martin opens with 70

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TURNBERRY, Scotland – Mo Martin was given a luxury suite when she checked in at Trump Turnberry this week.

She also received a bouquet of flowers.

“Big beautiful sunflowers,” Martin said.

It’s good to be the defending champion at the Ricoh Women’s British Open. Martin rode the good vibes to a solid 2-under-par 70 in the first round Thursday with three birdies and a bogey. She relished the warm welcome she received being introduced as the reigning Women’s British Open champ and all the shouts of encouragement.

“I’ve been treated like a princess,” Martin said. “It’s been a really, really incredible week so far.”

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With double points available in the U.S. Solheim Cup race in this week’s major, Martin is hoping to make a run at qualifying for the American team. She’s 14th on the American points list but could leap to ninth with a victory. The top eight in points automatically qualify for the team after the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open (Aug. 23). Martin is fifth on the U.S. Rolex world rankings list. A move into the top two also gets her on the team.

She’s focusing on the task at hand for now.

“I love links golf,” she said. “I love the wind. I love the fact that you can play a single shot four different ways and still have it turn out the way you want. I love the creativity.”