13 Dec 2010

Martin successfully defends Dunhill Championship title

5:46 am on 13 December 2010

Spaniard Pablo Martin survived a late scare to become the first golfer in two years to successfully defend a European Tour event.

The 24-year-old from Malaga also became the first competitor to win the Alfred Dunhill Championship twice as he finished with a two-under 70 for a total of 277 and a two-stroke victory.

Irish star Padraig Harrington was the last golfer to win the same European Tour event in consecutive seasons when he lifted the British Open in 2007 and then again the following year.

Rookie Anthony Michael, who entered the final round at the Leopard Creek Country Club one shot ahead, shared second place on 279 with fellow South African Charl Schwartzel (70) and Dane Thorbjorn Olesen (66).

Martin was five shots ahead with seven holes left but a series of mishaps, including a triple-bogey seven at the par-four 17 where he found a bunker, meant he walked to the last tee clinging to a one-stroke advantage.

However a superb drive at the par five by the Spaniard was followed by a brave second over the water and he two putted for an birdie and victory in the first event of the 2011 Road-to-Dubai circuit.