Ian Poulter, who won all his games to help Europe retain the Ryder Cup in September, had a closing round of 7-under-par 65 yesterday at the HSBC Champions to secure his second victory in a World Golf Championship event.
The 36-year-old Englishman finished on 21-under, two shots ahead of Americans Jason Dufner, Phil Mickelson and Scott Piercy, and South Africa’s Ernie Els at the Mission Hills golf club in Shenzhen, China.
“I definitely think it is a part-continuation of the Ryder Cup,” Poulter told reporters. “It was a special day. I knew there was a good round of golf in me out there on that course.”
There are four annual World Golf Championship events, with Poulter previously winning the Accenture Match Play Championship in 2010. The Cadillac Championship and Bridgestone Championship are the other two.
Poulter now has 15 wins as a professional, including 12 on the European Tour. He was without a victory since last year’s Volvo World Match Play Championship.
“As well as I’ve played this year it would have been a disappointment personally to have gone that year without winning,” Poulter said.
Yesterday, he profited as overnight leaders Lee Westwood of England and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen both only managed par in their final rounds.
Westwood, who shot a 61 in the third round, had an inconsistent round yesterday with a double-bogey at the fifth and three further bogeys on the back nine. Oosthuizen finished in a tie with the Englishman for sixth.
Poulter had built a three-shot lead after 15 holes before a bogey at the 17th and then a bunkered shot on the final hole, but his closest challengers were unable to take advantage.
His round included eight birdies in addition to the late bogey.
Just over a month ago, Poulter had a tournament-best four points as Europe matched the biggest comeback in event history to retain the Ryder Cup at Medinah Golf Club outside Chicago.
Since then, he was fourth in last week’s BMW Masters, his only subsequent European Tour event before the HSBC Champions.
Poulter collects a check for 921,376 euros ($1.18 million), but said he had already spent that money last week.
“I’m not going to tell you what it is until it arrives and I’ve got it home safe and sound, but yes, it was a vehicle, and yes, it was very expensive,” Poulter said.
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