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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2009 > European Tour > Alfred Dunhill Championship > Round 2


Pablo Martin vaults clear with a 63

Spain’s Pablo Martin eagled the final hole in gathering dusk to claim a four-stroke lead after the second round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship on Friday.

Martin’s nine-under round of 63 took him to 13-under in the 2010 European Tour opener. That put him four strokes clear of morning starters Ernie Els of South Africa and Italian Edoardo Molinari.

The 23-year-old Martin, who won the Portuguese Open as an amateur in 2007, opened with two straight birdies and added more at the sixth, ninth and eleventh before registering a hat-trick of birdies from the 13th.

His only bogey came at the eighth while at the par-five 18th he put a three-iron to nine feet and holed the eagle putt.

“I lost track of the birdies a little bit,” Martin told reporters.

“It was just a very good, fun round and it went the way I wanted it to go. I think it was the best day Ive had with the putter.

“Today was a little bit of a surprise. I’ve been playing well, but I was under pressure to keep my card at the end of last season, and it’s not the same when you have pressure and cant play freely like today.”

Home favourite Els, seeking to avoid a first winless year since 1990, followed up his first-round 68 with a 67, mixing eight birdies and three birdies.

Els said he was optimistic about his chances for the weekend.

“I’m looking for that breakout round,” he said. I feel like I’m playing well enough to shoot some really good numbers, especially in weather like today.

“I’d love to win this and it’s very important to me, but you can’t get carried away. I’ve really got to think of the present and just keep plugging away.”

Argentina’s Ariel Canete, South African Charl Schwartzel and Sweden’s Pelle Edberg are tied at eight-under-par along with first-round leader Ulrich van den Berg of South Africa.

Briton John Bickerton produced the second hole-in-one of the tournament at the par-three fifth hole. South African Thomas Aiken fired an earlier ace at the 12th hole on Thursday.

Play on Friday was briefly interrupted by debris floating on the wind from a fire at a nearby sugar plantation. Much of it settled on the Leopard Creek course, and although there was no formal suspension, some groups had to wait while staff cleared the greens.

The Alfred Dunhill Championship is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and South Africa’s Sunshine Tour.



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