Born: October 8, 1982
Birthplace: Pasadena, California
Height: 5 ft 3 in
College: University of California at Los Angeles
Turned Pro: 2005
Sponsors: Callaway, CME Group, Lizzie Driver
Melissa “Mo” Martin was born in Pasadena, California. Martin demonstrated her tenacity early on, a walk-on freshman who made the UCLA golf team. She would go on to be named MVP for the Bruins golf team during her career and helped lead them to the NCAA Team Championship her junior year.
Martin turned pro and joined the Symetra Tour. She grinded her way through her early years, stuck in golf’s minor leagues. In 2011, Martin recorded 11 top tens and won on the Symetra Tour leading to her LPGA card for the 2012 season.
In 2014, Martin captured lightening in a bottle and captured her first win, which also happened to be a Major championship. The Women’s British Open was held that year at Royal Birkdale. Martin was the leader through two rounds but struggled to a 77 in the third round. Martin came to the par 5 18th hole on Sunday and her 3-wood from the fairway hit the pin. Martin cleaned up the short eagle putt and held on to win by a single stroke.
Martin credits her father and grandfather with giving her the ability to persevere early in her career. Martin is not a long hitter and is often 40 yards behind her playing partners. She relies on great iron play and a solid short game.
Martin and her father read Ben Hogan’s classic book, “Five Lessons: The Fundamentals of Modern Golf.” Martin’s father died unexpectedly while she was at UCLA. Martin’s father gave her the nickname “Mo” after the legendary battleship the U.S.S. Missouri.
Martin’s win at the British Open vaulted her to 26th in the Women’s World Golf Rankings. She currently is the 44th ranked women’s player in the world.