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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2009 > European Tour > South African Open Championship > Round 3


Pablo Martin holds on to slim advantage

Spain’s Pablo Martin closed on a second straight European Tour title after retaining his lead in the South African Open third round on Saturday.

Martin, who won the opening event of the 2010 European Tour at last week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship, carded an eventful level-par 72 to go into the final round one stroke clear of Italian Edoardo Molinari.

Overnight leader Martin struggled with his swing but made a series of vital putts to keep his round together.

One particularly fortunate incident came at the par-three 12th hole where his ball landed in a water hazard but bounced off a rock on to the green and he holed the putt for an unlikely birdie.

He also saved par at the seventh where his approach shot hit a spectator on the head and prevented Martin’s ball from heading too far past the green.

Martin’s luck did run out at the eighth and ninth holes, however, as he bogeyed both and he dropped another two shots at the 14th, but birdies at three of the four par-fives ensured he salvaged a level-par round.

Molinari moved into second at 10 under par after a 69 including seven birdies.

Former South African Open champion James Kingston moved into a strong position with a 69 to move to nine under par, level with Swede Fredrick Andersson Hed and his fellow Scandinavian Anders Hansen.

The South African Open is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and by South Africa’s Sunshine Tour.


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