Martin defends title after nightmare 17th

Pablo Martin of Spain became the first golfer in two years to retain a European Tour title when he won the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club by two strokes yesterday.

The 24-year-old was nearly undone by a triple-bogey seven at the 17th hole but he finished in thrilling fashion by going for the island green in two on the par-five 18th and claiming a birdie to finish with a 70 and an 11-under-par total of 277.

The last player to retain a title on the European Tour was Ireland's Padraig Harrington who won the British Open at Carnoustie in 2007 and at Royal Birkdale in 2008.

Dane Thorbjorn Olesen (66) and South African pair Charl Schwartzel (70) and Anthony Michael (73), who had led from day one, were joint second yesterday on 279.

Rookie Michael, 25, began the day a stroke ahead of Martin but the Spaniard seemed to shut the door on the up-and-coming South African when he stormed to the turn in a five-under-par 30 thanks to three birdies and an eagle.

"I played really well on the front nine. I've been playing decently lately and I wanted to try my best," he said as he landed a first prize of €158,500 [£132,700] in the opening event of the 2010-11 season.

Martin was five shots in front when Michael hit his drive on the par-four 11th out of bounds and double-bogeyed the hole. The South African then birdied the 13th before Martin bogeyed the 14th. The defending champion then had a lucky escape on 17 when he drove into a fairway bunker.

Martin's recovery became embedded on the lip of the trap and when he finally made the green he took three putts.

However, Michael made it easier for him at the final hole when he found the water in front of the green.

"The 17th was a nightmare when I had everything under control. I kept remembering the words of my coach at Oklahoma State University, he always used to say you just need to clear the lip," Martin said after recording his third European victory.

"I blew it in the Portugal Masters a few months ago when I had a three-shot lead. Whenever I missed a shot that day I did not have a cool head but I was really blessed to be able to pull it through today."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
travel
News
news
News
Sir James Dyson: 'Students must be inspired to take up the challenge of engineering'
i100
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) in Happy Valley ((C) Red Productions/Ben Blackall)
TV
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?