Martin repeats as Dunhill champion|
Malelane, South Africa (Sports Network) - It wasn't easy, but Spain's Pablo
Martin posted a two-under 70 Sunday to repeat as champion of the Alfred
Martin trailed by one to start the round, but built a five-shot lead early on
the back nine. He nearly coughed up his entire cushion, but a birdie at the
last sealed the win. Martin finished at 11-under-par 277.
"Luckily, I was able to hit some good shots coming in, especially on 18," said
Martin. "I've been playing decent lately and I wanted to try my best and do as
good as I can."
Anthony Michael, who led after each of the first three rounds, closed with a
one-over 73. He shared second place with Charl Schwartzel (70) and Thorbjorn
Olesen (66) at minus-nine.
After Michael double-bogeyed the 11th, Martin was five clear of the field at
Leopard Creek Country Club. However, the Spaniard bogeyed the 14th and made
triple-bogey on No. 17.
With his lead down to one, Martin birdied the par-five closing hole for his
third European Tour title.
Martin and Michael played in the final group together. Both players birdied
the first, but Martin jumped into the lead at 11-under with a 10-foot eagle
putt on the par-five second.
After four straight pars, Martin rolled in an eight-foot birdie effort on the
seventh. He was three clear at that point. Michael, who had bogeyed the third,
got back within two thanks to a birdie on the eighth.
Martin extended his lead back to three as he converted another eight-footer
for birdie on the ninth. It looked as though Michael fell out of contention as
he faltered to a double-bogey on No. 11 after his drive well left off the tee.
That left him five back. The margin was back down to three after Michael
birdied 13 and Martin bogeyed the 14th.
The duo made a mess of the 17th. Martin drove into a bunker and got a free
drop from a plugged lie, but still needed four more shots to reach the green.
Once on the putting surface, Martin three-putted for a triple-bogey, which
dropped his lead to a single stroke.
Michael made a bogey of his own on No. 17.
At the last, Martin made his third birdie of the week to cap the victory.
"I played really well on the front nine. I didn't get in too much trouble and
I holed a couple of good putts," Martin stated. "I've not been swinging that
great the whole week. It's winner's luck I guess."
Thomas Aiken managed a two-under 70 to end alone in fifth at seven-under-par
281. Alex Haindl (73) and Robert Dinwiddie (70) shared sixth at minus-six.
NOTES: Martin was the first player on the European Tour to repeat as champion
since Padraig Harrington won the British Open in 2007 and 2008...Michael was
looking for his first European Tour win in just his third start...This was the
first event of the 2011 season for the European Tour...The tour remains in
South Africa next week for the South African Open Championship, where Richie
Ramsay won last year.
12/12 11:24:36 ET