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