Pablo Martin wins Alfred Dunhill Championship

Spain’s Pablo Martin hung on to defend his Alfred Dunhill Championship title at Leopard Creek Country Club in South Africa. It was his third European Tour victory.

Pablo Martin

Spain's Pablo Martin hung on to defend his Alfred Dunhill Championship title at Leopard Creek Country Club in South Africa. It was his third European Tour victory.

Martin trailed home player Anthony Michael by a stroke coming into the final round. But the Spaniard came out of the blocks fast with a birdie at the 1st and an eagle at the 2nd.

The defending champion made further birdies at the 7th and 9th and turned in 30. When Michael snap-hooked his drive at the 11th and made a double bogey, Martin suddenly found himself with a five-shot lead.

The tournament looked to be over, but nerves began to affect Martin who blew a four shot lead in the final round of October's Portugal Masters.

He was fortunate to escape with a par at the 13th. He then found the trees on the following hole and dropped a shot.

Although Michael had made a birdie at the 13th, Martin still had the luxury of a three-shot lead with two holes to play. But the Spaniard made a complete mess of the 17th and walked off with a triple-bogey seven. Fortunately for Martin, Michael could only make a bogey at the hole so he retained a slender, one stroke advantage heading to the 72nd tee.

After seeing Michael pull his tee shot into the trees, Martin composed himself and boosted a drive down the middle of the fairway. The Spaniard then played another supremely solid shot to find the par-5's putting surface in two blows.

Seeing that shot, Michael knew he probably needed an eagle to tie Martin so went for the green from a difficult spot in the trees. The shot fell short in the water and the tournament was decided. The South African did extremely well to get up and down for a par and finish in a tie for second with Charl Schwartzel and Thorbjorn Olesen.

Alfred Dunhill Championship Leopard Creek Country Club, South Africa Dec 9-12, purse €1,000,000, par 72

1   Pablo Martin (Esp)   69   70   68   70   277   €158,500 T2   Anthony Michael (RSA)   66   69   71   73   279   €77,767 T2   Thorbjorn Olesen (Den)   71   68   74   66   279   €77,767 T2   Charl Schwartzel (RSA)   70   70   69   70   279   €77,767   5   Thomas Aiken (RSA)   72   72   67   70   281   €41,300 T6   Robert Dinwiddie (Eng)   69   72   71   70   282   €32,450 T6   Alex Haindl (RSA)      71   66   72   73   282   €32,450 T8   David Drysdale (Sco)   70   70   72   71   283   €23,100 T8   Robert Rock (Eng)   67   70   75   71   283   €23,100

Note: Player result in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?