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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Californian Mo Martin scores second

victory on US Duramed Futures Tour

Mo Martin of Altadena, California claimed her second professional victory, firing a five-under-par 67 in the final round to win by four strokes at the $80,000 USI Championship at Beaver Meadow, Concord, New Hampshire
Martin finished the tournament at 12-under-par 204, four shots ahead of runner-up Gerina Mendoza (69) of Roswell, New Mexico, who closed at eight-under-par 208.
Finishing third was rookie Whitney Myers (67) of York, Pennsylvania, who finished at six-under-par 210, while Maru Martinez (70) of Maracaibo, Venezuela, and LeAnna Wicks (69) of Brighton, Michigan., tied for fourth with a three-day score of five-under-par 211.
Scattered thunderstorms hit the Concord area overnight and produced nearly an inch of rain, but skies were sunny as final-round play began off split tees at 7:30 a.m. this morning.
The soft greens played right into Martin's hands and a putter she affectionately calls "Mona" as she earned a check of $11,200 to move into 10th on the season money list. As an added bonus, Martin was also presented with a Bulova diamond watch and commemorated with flowers between the 16th and 17th holes on Beaver Meadow Golf Course for her win.
Martin finished off her second win on the Duramed Futures Tour by sinking a 30ft birdie putt as fans surrounding the 18th green erupted. It was a storybook ending for Martin, who was embraced by family and friends walking off the course, led by her mother and 96-year-old grandfather, Lincon.
"This feels like a fairytale," Martin said. "It still hasn't sunk in. I've been just trying to take it one day at a time, because I've learned nothing comes if you expect it."
One day after setting the course record at Beaver Meadow with a six-under-par 66 in Saturday's second round, Martin broke the three-year tournament aggregate record by three strokes, previously held by Tour alum Charlotte Mayorkas of Las Vegas and her 54-hole score of nine-under-par 207 in 2006.
Martin sent a text message to Mayorkas to let her friend know she broke the record and was given a celebratory shower when fellow players poured water over her on the 18th green.
It represented the second win on the Duramed Futures Tour for Martin, who won the 2007 El Paso Golf Classic in a sudden-death play-off with darkness approaching. She was relieved she finished this win in daylight.
"I feel like I had time to sleep on the lead," Martin said. "I'm not going to say this one is more legitimate, but it feels more like the ending of a golf tournament."
Martin opened her round with a birdie on the first hole to move to 8-under par. She added two more birdies on the front nine and didn't slow down making the turn, leading by as many as four strokes over Mendoza with birdies on No. 12 and 14, before they both made bogey on the par-4, 15th hole.
Mendoza made birdie on her second hole to keep Martin's lead at two strokes. She trimmed the deficit to one stroke with a birdie on No. 5, but that was the closest she would get to Martin the rest of the day. Mendoza still recorded four birdies and one bogey that resulted in a career-best finish to earn $8,000.
"I didn't want to force things because birdies turn into bogeys," Mendoza said. "I was just trying to stick within myself and play my game."
Competing in just her third professional event, Myers put together a bogey-free round with five birdies and finished in sole possession of third. In her first two events, Myers tied for 13th at the CIGNA Golf Classic in Bloomfield, Conn., and tied for fifth last week in Syracuse, New York State at the Alliance Bank Golf Classic. She tied Martin and Jessica Carafiello of Coral Springs, Fla., for the low round of the day with a 67 (-5).
"It's been absolutely surreal," said Myers, who tied for 18th at the Duramed Futures Tour Qualifying Tournament in November. "I knew I had it in me and I had made it a goal to make the cut in the events I played in, but to be doing this well -- I couldn't see it coming."
The Tour is idle this coming week before heading to London, Kentucky for the Falls Auto Group Classic from August 8 to 10.
Tournament weather: A mix of clouds and sun with a high temperature of 81 degrees and winds blowing southwest up to 15 mph.