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Spaniard Martin creates European Tour history

Spaniard Martin creates European Tour history

Spaniard Pablo Martin created history on Sunday by becoming the first golfer to win European Tour tournaments as an amateur and as a professional.
The 23-year-old native of Malaga held off a charge from South African Charl Schwartzel to finish with a 69 and claim a one-stroke victory in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Golf Club in Malalane.
Martin, winner of the 2007 Estoril Open in Portugal before joining the paid ranks, compiled a four-round total of 271, 17-under-par on a course designed by South African legend Gary Player.
It all came down to a short putt on the par-five final hole and the Spaniard, who led since the second round on Friday, took his time before calmly slotting the ball into the cup.
After an opening-round 68, Martin fired a sizzling nine-under 63 to open a four-stroke lead at the halfway mark and although slipping to a 71 in the third, was two in front entering the final 18 holes.
Former Dunhill winner Schwartzel closed with a 68 for a total of 272, two strokes better than Dane Anders Hansen with defending champion Richard Sterne of South Africa among a group a further two shots adrift.
"It is an unreal feeling," admitted Martin as he celebrated capturing the 158,500-euro first prize in an event co-sanctioned by the South African Sunshine Tour.
"I am so happy after winning this tournament at such a great course. Apart from my 63, partnering the great Ernie Els in the third round was a memory I shall always cherish. He is one of my heroes and a true gentleman of the game," said Martin.
Just two strokes behind the leader overnight, three-time 'major' winner Els finished 10 off the pace after a closing 77 and surrendered a record of winning at least one event each year since 1990.


Updated : 2021-10-17 08:05 GMT+08:00