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Pablo Martin leads South Africa golf event

Dec. 19, 2009 at 9:04 PM

PAARL, South Africa, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Pablo Martin capped an even-par 72 with a closing birdie Saturday and holds a one-stroke lead through three rounds at the South African Open golf tournament.

Martin's 54-hole total at the Pearl Valley Golf Estates in Paarl, South Africa, 11-under 205, leads fellow Spaniard Edoardo Molinari (69). At 9-under 207, Denmark's Anders Hansen (72), Sweden's Fredrik Andersson Hed (68) and native James Kingston (69) share third place.

"I couldn't get the (18th) green with a 3-wood," Martin said about his closing birdie. "So I thought, 'What the heck'. Nothing bad can happen to me today."

Martin, 23, was 19 when he won the 2007 Open de Portugal, making him the only amateur ever to win a European Tour event, and also captured the Alfred Dunhill Championship, the tour's 2010 season opener.

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