Green storms to Portugal success

10/17/2010 5:52:43 PM
Richard Green  (Getty Images)
Richard Green (Getty Images)

Richard Green came from seven shots back to win the Portugal Masters with a brilliant closing 65.

The Australian left-hander, for whom this was a third European Tour title in his 311th start, finished 18 under for the week after his seven under par round.

But although he had set a respectable clubhouse target, it looked for much of the afternoon that Green was going to be beaten to the title by Spain's Pablo Martin.

“I thought I was a little too it far back, being sort of seven shots behind the leader,” admitted Green. “But you know, I set out there today to shoot a good score and I had 64 in my mind and I thought if I got anywhere near, I would have a great week.

“And to be here now with the trophy is just a fantastic feeling. I've worked very hard, and I've had some opportunities to win this year and let them slip. 

“To be honest, I thought this one slipped by as well. But you know, the way it's worked out, I'm happy.”

Martin, the first amateur to win on The European Tour in 2007 and winner of the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa at the start of the 2010 Race to Dubai, was three clear overnight.

He extended that advantage to four when he reached 20 under with a simple two-putt birdie at the par five fifth.

Martin then double bogeyed the seventh, and Green himself reached 20 under with 11 birdies in his first 15 holes.

But he closed bogey-par-bogey, three-putting on the final green, and saw Martin edge past his clubhouse total when he birdied the 12th.

The 24 year old then bogeyed the 13th, 15th and 16th and despite birdieing the 17th his challenge ended when he drove into water at the 18th.

That led to another double bogey and dropped Martin into a share of sixth.

“I choked, basically,” admitted Martin. “Meltdown - it was pretty clear. You could see it on TV I guess.

“I don't know.  I don't know what can I say after that?  Very shameful - very ashamed of myself.

“I was playing all right, the double on seven, obviously you just have to   this course, you only have to do two things right, the two drivers on seven and 18. I hit both of them in the pond, exactly what you don't want to do.”

Green added: “I hit the ball good all week. Today has probably been my best day with the putter I've had all week. I've averaged 31 putts for the round over the first three days and today they started to go in which was great. 

“I've been playing well for a while now so I've been looking forward to these few weeks with the nice weather.”

Tied second on 16 under were Dutchman Joost Luiten, Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño, Swede Robert Karlsson and Italy's Ryder Cup star Francesco Molinari - who incredibly was in the clubhouse before 2.30pm.

He carded a ten under 62 for the second time this week, and his scintillating effort hinted at a much lower winning score, but with the pressure mounting nobody was able to surpass Green.