Spain’s ace golfer Pablo Martin raised hopes for a second consecutive European Tour title after he retained his lead in the third round of the South African Open today.

Martin, who won the Alfred Dunhill Championship, the opening tournament of European Tour 2010, entered the final round with a score of level –par 72 and is one stroke clear of his Italian competitor, Edoardo Molinari who stood second at 10 under par after a round of 69.

Martin struggled with his swing in the third round but managed to pull off with a series of vital putts.  At the 8th and 9th holes, Martin’s performance was not up to the mark as he bogeyed both holes and dropped another two shots at the 14th .But he recovered with birdies at three of the four par-fives and ensured his first position after the round.

Former champion, James Kingston stood at a strong position too, sharing it with Swede Fredrick Andersson Hed and his fellow Scandinavian Anders Hansen.