Martin up by 3 at Royal Birkdale

Mo Martin of Altadena took a three-stroke lead over So Yeon Ryu of South Korea and Beatriz Recari of Spain by posting a second straight 3-under-par 69 in the Ricoh Women’s British Open at breezy Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England.

The 31-year-old graduate of UCLA, who has three victories on the Symetra Tour but is winless on the LPGA Tour, played the first 10 holes in a flawless 3-under before making her only bogeys at Nos. 11 and 12,

However, she bounced back with birdies on two of the last four holes.

“Every hole you have something to think about,” said Martin, known as “Mighty Mo” because she stands 5-foot-3. “Every single shot you have something to think about. And then the wind gets a little bit tricky here. My first win was in El Paso, Texas, and that was extremely windy,

“I’ve really been watching the flags because the layout of the course subtly turns you into the wind or turns you away from the wind, and you can’t necessarily feel it from some of the tee boxes, some of the approach shots. But there’s fairway there and there’s green there and that’s what I’m focusing on.”

Recari, who has three LPGA Tour victories, recovered from an opening 74 that included two double bogeys, by finishing with three consecutive birdies and six in all during a 67.

Ryu, who has won twice on the LPGA Tour, including the 2011U.S. Women’s Open, carded a double-bogey 6 on the second hole, but played the last 16 holes in a bogey-free 4-under to shoot 70.

Sun-Ju Ahn of South Korea birdied four of the last five holes in a 67 that left her four shots back in a tie for fourth with Julieta Granada of Paraguay, who birdied the last two holes to wind up at 70.

Top-ranked Stacy Lewis recorded five bogeys and a double-bogey 7 on the 15th hole in a 74 that dropped her into a tie for 16th, while U.S. Women’s Open champion Michele Wie finished at 75-78–153 to miss the cut by three strokes.

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