Although she couldn’t push the momentum forward in round two at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, Mo Martin is right there, looking for her second win on the LPGA Tour since her breakthrough major victory in 2014.
The 35-year-old made her LPGA Tour debut as a rookie at the Australian Open in Melbourne in 2012, and said Australia has a special place in her heart. The crowds, she said, have been out in force this week.
She shot an even-par 72 on Friday and at 4-under par she’s tied for sixth. Jin Young Ko holds the lead at 10-under.
“I see that the lead position has kind of slipped away forward, but you never know, two more days and I’m just going to control what I can control and enjoy the game here. I’m going to enjoy my food, my bread, my desserts, the people, everybody’s sense of humour here,” she said, her trademark positivity shining through.
Martin said she’s had to adjust to going back to using a short putter from a few years with a long putter, but she admitted Thursday, after the first round, that she’s in a “really good place now” with very solid ball striking.
“Obviously I’m still loving the game, so a lot of pieces are there right now,” she said.
Martin’s instructor, Ian Triggs, is Australian – they met at this tournament in 2013 – and she said asking him to work together was one of the best moves she’s made for her golf game.
Along this tournament being her first as an LPGA Tour member, the fact that she met her long-time coach at this event as well makes it extra special.
“He’s been a significant factor in my success out here and he’s just been a significant person in my life too,” said Martin. “I’m also working at home with Jamie Mulligan, so everybody was together, they were together with me and I think we made some really big breakthroughs.
“My game is in a really good spot, so I’m excited for 2018.”
Martin’s best finish on the LPGA Tour in 2017 was a tie for eighth at the CP Canadian Women’s Open, and she said she’s looking to get more consistent in 2018, and capitalize on the good vibes that she’s been feeling since the New Year has begun.
“I just really feel like my best golf ahead of me, so it’s a fun spot to be in,” she said. “I’ve got a great caddie, I’ve got a great team and feeling like the best is yet to come; it’s really special.”