Mo Martin of Altadena holed a six-foot eagle putt on the final hole to win the Ricoh Women’s British Open by one stroke over Suzann Pettersen of Norway and Shanshan Feng of China at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England.
The 31-year-old Martin, a graduate of UCLA, hit the flagstick with a brilliant 3-wood approach shot on the final hole before sinking the winning putt for her first eagle of the season and only the third of her LPGA Tour career.
She closed with an even-par 72, equaling the low score of the day, and finished the tournament at 1-under, the only player in red numbers.
“On the final hole, I played it one shot at a time,” said Martin, whose only three previous pro victories came on the Symetra Tour. “First hit the fairway, then hit a good second shot … I actually heard it hit the flag … and then find the line on my putt.
“It all came together for me. 100 percent, I will never forget this. I will dream about it. You can’t make this up. It’s so exciting. … Is this real life?”
Pettersen, who has won two LPGA Tour major titles, bounced back from double bogeys on the first and 13th holes to make birdies on the last two holes, but fell one stroke short with a 75.
Feng, who captured the 2012 LPGA Championship, had a chance to force a playoff but finished with par-5s on the last two holes and also carded a 75.
Inbee Park, who won the first three majors of the season last year and led this time after 54 holes, also had a chance to force extra holes with a birdie, but could not get up-and-down for par from a greenside bunker on the final hole and closed with a 77 to wind up two shots back in solo fourth.
Jessica Korda closed with a 74 and tied for fifth, four strokes behind, along with Angela Stanford (75), Eun-Hee Ji of South Korea (76) and Julieta Granada of Paraguay (77).
Top-ranked Stacy Lewis, the defending champion, closed with a 78 and wound up in a tie for 12th.