2005: Competition - Martin has easy sailing at Niagara Falls
The final scoreboard at the 47th Porter Cup showed Pablo Martin two shots clear of Jason Day and Ben Hayes.
But it wasn’t nearly that close.
Martin, 19, a native of Spain and a sophomore at Oklahoma State, held a five-shot lead after three rounds, led by as many as six strokes at one point in the closing round and was in total command as he shot a 1-under 69 July 23 to finish with an 11-under 269 total at Niagara Falls Country Club.
The only thing that made it close was Martin’s bogey at No. 14 and a double bogey at the par-3 18th, where he three-putted from 31/2 feet. By then, though, it only added a little humor to the finish.
“The whole week was great, from beginning to end, even though it did end kind of funny,” Martin said. “I can’t remember having four rounds like this. I just played very solid and made a lot of putts. I won’t forget this week, not only because of winning the golf tournament, but because of all the great people here and the whole tournament.”
The 6-foot, 178-pound Martin (pronounced mar-TEEN) became only the fifth foreign-born Porter Cup champion, joining Canadians Gary Cowan (1969) and Danny Mijovic (1984),
Japan’s Ryuji Imada (1995) and Australia’s Simon Nash (2002).
Day, a 17-year-old Australian, and Hayes, a Scottsdale, Ariz., resident who completed his college career at Southern Cal this spring, closed with 65s. Another shot back at 8-under 272 was Jon Curran of Hopkinton, Mass., an incoming freshman at Vanderbilt.
But the tournament belonged to Martin, a first-team All-American and NCAA Division I Freshman of the Year last season with the Cowboys.
Martin had been home in Spain since the end of the NCAA Championship the first week in June and arrived in the United States just three days prior to the start of the Porter Cup. He is playing this week in the Western Amateur, then will tryto qualify for the U.S. Amateur.
“This is definitely one of my top wins,” said Martin, who won two college events as a freshman and owns a host of junior titles worldwide. “A win like this, against such a great field, gives you a lot of confidence.”
Day, who gave Martin an early challenge when he got within two strokes after starting the final round birdie-birdie-eagle, posted his best finish in five events since coming to the United States in early June. He earlier posted top-20 finishes at the Sunnehanna Amateur, Monroe Invitational and World Junior and finished 31st at the Northeast Amateur.
“I came here with a goal of finishing in the top 10 or top 15 in every tournament,” said Day, who planned to head back to Australia following the Porter Cup. “I just couldn’t get the ball in the hole in those first tournaments.
“This week, everything clicked. I gained a lot of experience playing over here, and the way I played this week will certainly give me confidence for the future.”
Nicholas Thompson finished in a three-way tie for fifth to earn the William C. Campbell Trophy, which is presented to the player with the lowest aggregate score from the Northeast Amateur, Players Amateur and Porter Cup. Thompson, a 2005 U.S. Walker Cup team member, finished 14 under par in those three events.
In the Senior Division, Mike Rice of Houston hung on for a two-stroke victory over Tim Miller to claim his second Harvey Cup. Rice, who also won here in 2003, finished at 3-over 283.