If Mo Martin keeps this going at the Evian Championship and wins her second major, her trusted caddie knows he’ll be working overtime.
Craig Castrale will have to wait around until the bitter end on Sunday to make sure Martin doesn’t leave Evian Resort without the trophy.
“I can be a little bit mindless, which is embarrassing,” Martin said.
Martin shot 5-under-par 66 Friday to gain a four-way share of the second-round lead despite forgetting her yardage book. She was in a “small panic” when she turned to Castrale on her way to the first tee.
“I was like, `Do you have my yardage book?’” Martin said. “He was like, `no.’”
Fortunately, Castrale had one of his old ones. Martin warned him things like this would happen when they first started working together three seasons ago.
“I told him when we first started, `I’m going to have no idea where my car keys are or my badge,’” Martin said.
When Castrale stopped laughing, he could see Martin was serious. This wasn’t a drill to prepare him.
“I have no idea where they are,” she told him.
Martin is one of the most intelligent players on tour, but apparently there’s an absent-minded professor quality about her that goes way back.
“The day I got my driver’s license, I had everything that said I was a human being in a file,” Martin said.
That included her passport.
And she put the papers on top of the car and drove away.
“My shoes were on top of the car, too,” Martin said.
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Martin, however, never forgets how to hit fairways. It’s what she does better than anyone in the game, and it’s being rewarded more than usual this week.
It’s also helps that her putting is moving to another level.
Evian Resort Golf Club is offering a tougher test than players have seen in the past. With more blue skies and sun than they are accustomed to seeing there in September, the course is firmer and faster. Balls are rolling through fairways into penal rough.
Hitting fairways and negotiating Evian’s dramatically sloped greens are keys to the week. Martin is at her best on tough tests like that. Her lone LPGA victory came at the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014.
“There are all styles of players on this leaderboard,” Martin said. “I think that’s a testament to the course.”
At 8-under, Martin is tied for the lead with three players trying to win their first major. Amy Olson (65), rookie Maria Torres (69) and Mi Hyang Lee (66) are aiming to keep the year’s “breakthrough” theme going in the majors.
Pernilla Lindberg got it started winning her first major at the ANA Inspiration at year’s start.
Georgia Hall followed her lead winning her first major at the Ricoh Women’s British Open last month.
Now everyone and her sister is lining up at the Evian Championship to see if she can break through this weekend.
Four of the top five players on the leaderboard have never won majors.
Count Carlota Ciganda (70) in that mix. She’s one shot off the lead.
“I’ve been playing good all year, especially in the majors, so I think I’m ready,” Ciganda said.
Martin isn’t the only proven major winner with a chance.
So Yeon Ryu (69), Brooke Henderson (69) and Georgia Hall (68) are among a pack of players sitting two shots off the lead.
Inbee Park (69) is three back, with In Gee Chun (70) and Morgan Pressel (68) four back. Park is in position to try to win her eighth major championship title and end any debate over whether she has won the career Grand Slam. She won the Evian Championship in 2012, the year before it became a major.
“I still have my name on the trophy, but I think it’ll be just really nice to put it twice on the trophy,” Park said.
How tough is the course playing?
After opening with a 77, Rolex world No. 1 Sung Hyun Park missed the cut by three shots. Lexi Thompson shot 75 on Friday and missed the cut by one.