Els falls apart to round off poor year while Martin strolls home

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The Independent Online

Spain's Pablo Martin took the second European Tour victory of his career when he defeated South African Charl Schwartzel by one stroke to win the Alfred Dunhill Championship here yesterday.

The 23-year-old produced a steady three-under-par round of 69 to equal the tournament scoring record at 17-under-par. Martin's safe strategy and solid putting were enough to secure the win on a day when some of his challengers fell apart.

Ernie Els slumped to a five-over-par 77 after starting the final round two strokes behind Martin at 12-under-par. This means the big South African has failed to win in a calendar year for the first time since 1990.

Martin's winning round featured birdies at the second, fifth, 12th and 13th holes. His only bogey came at the par-three seventh where he hit his tee shot into the water.

He was forced to make par for victory at the water-surrounded par-five 18th when Schwartzel halved his two-stroke deficit by making a birdie. Though tempted to go for the green in two, Martin laid up, knowing two putts would do the job. His first left him a two-footer and he then put the ball in the hole to take his first win since the 2007 Estoril Open de Portugal.