SOUTHPORT, England (AP) - Mo Martin has a plan for every golf course she plays, and it’s working at Royal Birkdale.
The 31-year-old American is among the shortest hitters in women’s golf, so she figured out the widest part of the fairways and keeps hitting them. It has produced 10 birdies in two days, a pair of 3-under 69s, and a three-shot lead going into the weekend at the Ricoh Women’s British Open.
“It’s always nice when your plan pans out,” Martin said. “So it’s fun to be here.”
Michelle Wie’s plans did not include her searching for a flight home before the weekend. The U.S. Women’s Open champion missed her first cut this year by not making enough birdies to account for too many times she had to scramble for par. She had rounds of 75-78.
She still has that shiny trophy from her first major at home, though that was a small consolation.
“It does still feel good,” she said. “But I’m disappointed in myself. I wanted to play well here.”
Martin was at 6-under 138, three shots ahead of Beatriz Recari (67) and So Yeon Ryu (70), who joined Martin as the only players to break par both days at Birkdale.
Martin has never won on the LPGA Tour, and her plans figures to get a serious test over the final two days of a major, especially if the weather gets ugly.
Here are five things to look for on the weekend of this LPGA major:
MIGHTY MO: The UCLA grad passed her first big test Friday. She was among the last to tee off, when the wind usually is at its strongest. The 18-hole leader, Ayako Uehara, faded badly with a 44 on the back nine for a 79 to slip nine shots out of the lead.
Martin produced a steady diet of fairways and greens. She was bogey-free on the front nine with two birdies. After back-to-back bogeys early on the front nine, she atoned with birdies on two par 5s for a 69.
“Every hole, you have something to think about. Every single shot, you have something to think about,” Martin said. “But there’s fairway there, and there’s green there, and that’s what I’m focusing on. … My caddie and I just figured out where the widest parts of the fairway were, where I would have the best approaches into the greens.”
WIE AND ARNIE: Michelle Wie learned some history at Royal Birkdale on her way to missing the cut.
She was on the cut line when her tee shot on the 16th went right and landed in a blackberry bush. She thought for a second she might get free relief because of a metal plaque in the ground that might impede her swing. But it wasn’t in the way by mere inches. She took a penalty drop and wound up making double bogey.
Wie was too disgusted to read what the plaque said.