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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2007 > European Tour > Estoril Open de Portugal > Round 4


Pablo Martin becomes first amateur winner on European Tour

Spain's Pablo Martin became the first amateur to win on the European Tour on Sunday since its opening season in 1972.

The 20-year-old took the Estoril Portuguese Open title by a stroke from France's Raphael Jacquelin.

Martin achieved what he failed to do in 2003 when he led going into the last day of a tournament in Tenerife only to fade away. This time he created golfing history with a closing three-under-par 68 to total seven-under-par 277.

The Spanish youngster began the final round two strokes behind his former Oklahoma State University golf team mate Alex Noren but the Swede was the one to wilt as he slid to a 76.

Martin's only real blemish was to find a sandy lie in gorse roots on the short 15th. But he rode his luck, getting a free drop clear of trouble because a sprinkler-head interfered with his stance, and rescued par.

Despite his fine round, Martin came under severe pressure from Jacquelin, the 2005 Madrid Open champion, when the Frenchman chipped in at the 18th for a 67 to leave the Spaniard needing to par the last two holes to prevail.

Jacquelin's consolation was to take the first prize, awarded to him because of Martin's amateur status.

The second placed man overnight, 24-year-old rookie pro Ross McGowan, one shot ahead of Martin going into Sunday, slumped after going out in four-over 40 on his way to a 76.

Former British amateur champion Graeme Storm of Britain threatened but crucially missed two successive four-footers for birdies coming home and also subsided with a 72.

Martin recognised his stroke of luck at the 15th but showed a wise head when he told reporters: "Of course, sometimes I thought about what all this meant as I played.

"But I told myself to stay in the present and just keep playing the shots the best I could.

"The 15th, of course, was very important. You play a lot of shots in a round, it was a good break."

Martin said he was "quite proud" of his historic win and happy to make up for his collapse in 2003 when he finished 22nd.

"The last time I had chance to win I was shaking in my shoes. This time it was not so bad." 

Martin is studying economics and looked a little wistful when reminded he had lost out on the 200,000 euro first prize.

Asked how he felt about it, he said: "No comment."

David Sheehan, a doctor, won a tournament at Royal Dublin as an amateur in 1962, but the tour was then run by the British PGA, 10 years before the European Tour played its first season.



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