SOUTHPORT, United Kingdom (AFP) - Mo Martin continued a run of American victories in the women's majors after her one-shot victory in the Women's British Open at Royal Birkdale.
Following a period of dominance by Asian players, American Stacy Lewis won this title last year and Martin makes it three in a row for the US this season following Lexi Thompson (Kraft Nabisco) and Michelle Wie (US Women's Open).
South Korea's Park Inbee will defend the LPGA Championship next month, while Norway's Suzann Pettersen is the reigning Evian Champion.
Martin was a real outsider going into the British Open but made her mark with rounds of 69, 69, 77 and a closing joint best of day 72 that ended with a spectacular eagle.
She was the only player to beat par and her one under total secured a one shot win over Pettersen and China's Feng Shanshan who both shot 75.
Now she is set to jump from No. 99 in the world into the top 30.
"This is unbelievable and amazing," said the Californian 31-year-old, whose previous best was three wins on the US Futures Tour. Her best finish in a major was a tie for 29th in this year's Kraft Nabisco.
"I think I still need to be pinched to make sure it is real. This is a dream come true."
Introduced to golf by her father, she was inspired by her grandfather, Lincoln Martin who followed her on the Tour until he passed away at the age of 102 in March.
Coached by Australian Ian Triggs, she also paid tribute to her caddie, Kyle Morrison.
"We had a plan to play Birkdale and it worked out. This is now my favourite course in the world," she said.
"The win really is just sinking in. I arrived at the start of the week trying to win a golf tournament but I didn't expect this. I'm living the dream."