SOUTHPORT, England – Mo Martin knew she hit her 3-wood exactly how she wanted on the 18th hole at Royal Birkdale.
With the ball slightly below her feet, about 240 yards from the hole and a strong wind at her back, she let it rip and watched the ball track toward the flag.
Martin thought it was short. Then she thought it might be too long. Moments later, she realized just how good the shot was.
“I could hear it hit the pin from the fairway,” Martin said. “That was a pretty fun feeling.”
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The ball rolled into the center of the flagstick and settled 6 feet away to set up an eagle — and when no one could catch her, the 31-year-old American became a major champion Sunday at the Women’s British Open.
“I think I still need to be pinched,” Martin said after closing with an even-par 72 for a one-shot victory over Shanshan Feng of China and Suzann Pettersen of Norway.
It was Martin’s first eagle of the year — one of the shortest hitters in the game, she doesn’t get many opportunities. She had not won on the LPGA Tour in 63 previous tries. And on a wind-swept day when no one broke par, she was never closer than two shots of the leaders the entire final round.
The best shot of her life changed everything.
“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.’ ”
An hour later, it turned out to be the winning shot when Feng (75) and Pettersen (75) couldn’t stay under par.
Martin finished at 1-under 287 and earned $475,575.
Montgomerie wins U.S. Senior Open
EDMOND, Okla. – Colin Montgomerie of Scotland won a three-hole playoff against American Gene Sauers to take the U.S. Senior Open title at Oak Tree National.
Both entered the playoff at 5-under 279 after 72 holes. Montgomerie entered the third extra hole with a one-shot lead, then made a putt on No. 18 to par the hole and secure the victory.
Montgomerie, 51, became the fifth golfer to win both the Senior PGA Championship and U.S. Senior Open in the same year. He closed with a 2-under 69 to force the playoff with Sauers (73).
Montgomerie earned $630,000, compared with $378,000 for Sauers.
Kirk Triplett (69), a Pullman High School graduate, tied for eighth place at 1 over.
SILVIS, Ill. – Brian Harman used three straight birdies down the stretch to hold off Zach Johnson by one stroke and win the John Deere Classic for his first PGA Tour title.
Harman had a 5-under 66 in the final round for a 22-under 262 total. The 27-year-old Georgian, who is in his third full season on the Tour, earned $846,000 — and the last exemption for the British Open, which starts Thursday at Royal Liverpool.
Johnson shot a 64.
Ryan Moore (68) of Puyallup tied for seventh place at 16 under. Alex Prugh (70), a former Washington Husky from Spokane, tied for 37th at 9 under.
Ex-UW Husky Richard H. Lee (68) and Kevin Chappell (70), who owns a home in Kirkland, were among players who tied for 52nd place at 7 under. Kyle Stanley (69) of Gig Harbor tied for 63rd at 5 under.
SANDY, Utah – Andres Gonzales of Olympia shot a 2-under 69 in the final round to win the Web.com Tour’s Utah Championship by four strokes.
Gonzales, who opened with a 62 in the first round and led after each day, finished at 21-under 263 for his second victory on the Web.com Tour. He had four birdies in his last round to help overcome a double bogey on the par-4 13th hole that dropped his lead from five shots to three.
When he stepped up for his tee shot on No. 18, he took a peek at the leaderboard — something he avoided doing earlier.
“I saw I had a four-shot lead, so that kind of gave me goose bumps, knowing I could do some stuff on the last green and win,” Gonzales said.
His first shot landed above the hole, and he two-putted for a par to complete the win that made him the first player in Web.com Tour history to win two titles while leading after every round. He also accomplished the feat at the Soboba Classic in 2012.
Gonzales, 31, earned $112,500 for the victory.
• England’s Justin Rose, who won the PGA Tour Quicken Loans National in his previous start, won the Scottish Open in Aberdeen by two strokes.
Rose, 33, closed with a 6-under 65 for a 16-under 268 total.
Kristoffer Broberg (66) of Sweden finished second.