Martin enjoys lucky escape

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An amazing stroke of fortune enabled Pablo Martin to take a two-stroke lead into the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

An amazing stroke of fortune enabled Spaniard Pablo Martin to take a two-stroke lead into the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa.
Five clear at one point, the 23-year-old double-bogeyed the 14th and was in danger of dropping more strokes when his approach to the 541-yard last flew over the green.
But it ran over a narrow bridge towards the clubhouse, rebounded off rocks bordering the water, stayed dry and, despite a weak chip back, he saved his par.
The drama gave Martin, whose career went into freefall after he became the European Tour’s first amateur winner two years ago, a 71 and 14-under total of 202.
Pre-tournament favourite Els was in danger of falling out of contention after mixing four birdies with four bogeys and then a double bogey over an eventful first 11 holes.
But Els – champion in 2005 but better remembered for finishing with an eight when two in front two years ago, birdied five of the last six holes.
He has so far birdied the 18th on all three days, but the final round is the big test for the “Big Easy” – and for Martin, of course.
Els lies joint second with fellow South African Charl Schwartzel, who won on the Leopard Creek course himself in 2004.
Tied for fourth three behind are Irish pair Damien McGrane and Gareth Maybin and another home player, Jacques Blaauw.

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