The Spaniard started the day two strokes behind overnight leader Tom Lehman, and made six birdies on the front nine, going out in just 28 strokes.
On the back nine, the par five 16th hole has been shortened to a par three due to unrelenting rain on the first day of the tournament, reducing the par of the golf course from 70 to 68.
Martín birdied the aforementioned 16th hole and also made gains on the 11th and 14th holes, with a birdie on the last to sign for a sub-60 score.
“My putter was so hot,” said Martín. “I played the 18 holes really solid, but the putter was great. I had just 25 putts, which is really, really good.
“It was my best round ever. It’s my second 59, but the par today was 68, so it’s a little bit of a shame.
“I’m playing really consistently from tee to green, I think I just missed one fairway but only in the semi-rough. The conditions were difficult, nine under par in this wind is a great score. I just tried to take one shot at a time, and that worked. I wasn’t thinking about my score as I went around.
“I hope tomorrow will be special. I’m very happy to be in this position; I’ve not been here for a long time. It would be a Happy Christmas if I can do it tomorrow.”
The 2006 USA Ryder Cup Captain Lehman carded a two under par round of 66, birdieing the last hole to reduce the gap to five strokes.
“It was a little breezy out there today,” said Lehman. “The toughest holes were the longest into the wind. The tricky holes are really tricky, but you have chances and opportunities out there. You have to be quite clever with the way you play out there, and other holes are grinders where you have to play your rear-end off to make par.”
Two-time Senior Major winner Roger Chapman eagled the 18th hole to take sole ownership of third place on three under par after matching Lehman’s two under par round.
“It was nice to have a three on the last,” said Chapman. “Those last six holes are so frustrating. I dumped it into the bunker on the 15th, but holed the bunker shot – I chipped in three times today.
“It’s damage limitation those final six holes because they are so tough. I came back in level par, and I’d have taken that if you’d told me that when I stood on the 13th tee.”
At the conclusion of tomorrow’s final round, in addition to presentation of the MCB Tour Championship – Seychelles trophy, Paul Broadhurst will receive the John Jacobs Trophy for topping the Staysure Tour Order of Merit and the Indian Ocean Swing trophy will be presented to the player who earned the most prize money at the final two events of the 2018 season.
|T4||MARTIN, Miguel Angel||ESP||18||-3|