Martin hangs on to claim title

SPAIN’S Pablo Martin overcame a back-nine blip to successfully defend his Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club.

Having gone five shots clear at the start of the back nine, the Spaniard saw his lead reduced to one after a triple bogey at the 17th.

But he held his nerve for a birdie at the last for a third European Tour title, finishing two shots clear of South Africans Charl Schwartzel and Anthony Michael.

“Luckily I was able to hit some good shots coming in, especially on 18,” said Martin after his late wobble. “Normally, they throw people into ponds and stuff. But I’m glad they restrained themselves today. I’m lucky because on 17 I made a big mess and just really lucky that everything went well in the end.”

It was 25-year-old Michael who started the day top of the leaderboard, but he fell away the closing round, carding 73. But the former professional baseball hopeful, who joined the tour last year, was happy with his week’s performance.

He said: “It feels like a win for me, I’ve overcome a lot this week. Emotions have been beyond anything I ever thought I could feel. It’s hard to put into words.”