Martin leads Els at Alfred Dunhill Championship


MALELANE, South Africa – Pablo Martin of Spain led the Alfred Dunhill Championship by four strokes at the halfway point on Friday.

Martin shot a 9-under 63 for a two-round total of 13-under 131, heading off Ernie Els (67) and Edoardo Molinari (69) at Leopard Creek Country Club. Els has won the event three times, while Italy’s Molinari was seeking a fifth victory in his last seven events.

Four others were another stroke back at 8 under, including former champion Charl Schwartzel, first-round leader Ulrich van den Berg, Ariel Canete of Argentina, and Pelle Edberg of Sweden.

Martin, the first amateur to win a European Tour event two years ago, carded eight birdies and eagled the 18th hole with a three-iron to the green and a 10-foot putt.

“I had 25 putts. That’s my career-best I think,” he said.

Els also made eight birdies but three bogeys in the event co-sanctioned by the Sunshine and European Tours.

Defending champion Richard Sterne shot a 66 to be at 6 under.