Poulter Cashes in at Barclays

Sun 01 Nov 2009

Poulter Cashes in at Barclays

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Sentosa, November 1: England’s Ian Poulter held off a brave challenge from Liang Wen-chong of China to claim a thrilling one-stroke victory at the Barclays Singapore Open on Sunday for his first triumph in two years.
The Ryder Cup star battled to a one-over-par 72 at the Sentosa Golf Club to complete a wire-to-wire victory in the star-studded US$5 million event co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour for the first time.
It was Poulter’s eighth career European Tour win, which was worth US$833,330, and his first since winning the 2007 Dunlop Phoenix Open in Japan. However, the flamboyant Englishman needed to overcome a mid-round wobble with four bogeys over six holes to end his title drought.
Liang, Asia’s number one in 2007, battled gamely with a 70 to finish second, but lamented missed opportunities down the stretch especially on the par five 18th hole which he needed to birdie to force a play-off.
Two-time Barclays Singapore Open champion Adam Scott of Australia stormed through the field with a 68 to finish joint third with compatriot Scott Hend, who signed off with a 69.
Poulter and Ryder Cup teammate Graeme McDowell traded the lead all day long, with Liang lurking behind. But as McDowell faded and Liang failed to find the birdies, Poulter eventually prevailed thanks to a 30-foot birdie conversion at the 13th hole which proved pivotal.
“The birdie on 13 pumped me up. I was getting angry (after bogeys on 11 and 12). I played so well in spells around here and it was just so annoying to let easy holes slip,” said 33-year-old Poulter, who played 12 holes of the third round in the morning to hold on to his lead.
“Making bogey, bogey there and lose the lead with Graeme in front, I felt I needed to do something and I did – I rolled a putt in from 30 feet. And it gave me a nice boost to a tiring day.
“I was mishitting some shots which made it a little bit interesting on a string of holes yesterday and coming out today I made some mistakes as well on the front and back nines. That made it a little bit too close for comfort. But to stand on the last hole knowing I had to make five to win made me fairly happy,” added Poulter, who ended the week on 10-under-par 274.
Liang was searching for his second victory in Singapore but came up just short in the end. He needed to birdie the par five 18th but his approach with only a wedge in hand left him with a 25-foot birdie putt which he didn’t even come close to holing.
“I tried my best but lady luck was eluding me. It was quite a pity on the 18th hole that I couldn’t find a birdie, I just hit a bad third shot. I had a pitching wedge in hand, had 126 yards to the pin,” said the Chinese ace, whose consolation was a career biggest cheque of US$555,550 which took him up to second place on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit.
“There are no regrets. Golf is like that. If I can’t make birdie, I have to accept it. Overall, I’m satisfied and pleased with how I played all week and being in contention.”
Scott, a crowd favourite after winning here in 2005 and 2006, showed he was back to his best form by coming alive on Sunday. As he had made the weekend rounds right on the cut line, the dashing Aussie played on the opposite nine from the leaders but he charged up the leaderboard with six birdies against three bogeys for joint third place.
“I thought if I could do something special, I could win on the wrong side of the course. But it wasn’t to be, that probably won’t ever happen,” said Scott.
He was delighted to finish strongly after a difficult season which has seen him drop to 76th place on the world rankings. “I’m in better shape now that it was at the start of the week. I put it all together in the last two rounds,” he said.
“It’s good to see something come out from the hard work as I’ve been grinding it pretty hard. I hung in there all weekend.”
Current Asian Tour number one Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand finished tied 14th with a closing 69 but saw his Order of Merit lead trimmed by Liang, which will now ensure a climatic finish to the season over the coming weeks.
American world number two Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els of South Africa also finished tied 14th on 280.
Leading final round scores
274 - Ian Poulter (ENG) 66-64-72-72
275 - Liang Wen-chong (CHN) 69-68-68-70
276 - Scott Hend (AUS) 72-66-69-69, Adam Scott (AUS) 72-71-65-68
277 - Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 72-68-68-69, Anders Hansen (DEN) 68-71-68-70, Graeme McDowell (NIR) 71-65-67-74
278 - Niclas Fasth (SWE) 69-67-71-71
279 - Kenichi Kuboya (JPN) 70-70-67-72, Marcus Both (AUS) 72-71-67-69, Andrew Dodt (AUS) 69-68-70-72, Thomas Levet (FRA) 68-68-73-70, Kodai Ichihara (JPN) 68-68-71-72
280 - Phil Mickelson (USA) 69-71-69-71, Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 73-67-71-69, Justin Rose (ENG) 72-70-70-68, Sam Hutsby (ENG) 69-70-69-72, Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 71-67-73-69, Juvic Pagunsan (PHI) 74-69-69-68, Ernie Els (RSA) 67-69-72-72
For further information, please contact Asian Tour’s Chuah Choo Chiang at the media centre +65 68200351. Also visit www.asiantour.com for live scoring.
About Barclays
Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail and commercial banking, credit cards, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services, with an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs over 155,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for over 48 million customers and clients worldwide. www.barclays.com
Barclays Golf sponsorships
In addition to the Barclays Singapore Open, Barclays is title sponsor of the Barclays Scottish Open and The Barclays in the US, and it also sponsors golfers Phil Mickelson and Darren Clarke.
About Sentosa Island
Sentosa is Asia’s leading leisure destination and Singapore’s premier island resort getaway, located within 15 minutes from the central business and shopping districts. The 500-hectare resort island is home to an exciting array of themed attractions, award-winning spa retreats, lush rainforests, golden sandy beaches, resort accommodations, world-renowned golf courses, a deep-water yachting marina and luxurious residences - making it a vibrant island resort for business and leisure.
By 2014, some 2,000 homes at Sentosa Cove will dot the coast. Situated on the eastern end of Sentosa Island, the exclusive residential enclave will feature romantic quayside restaurants, retail and specialty shops. Offering Singapore’s only truly oceanfront residences, Sentosa Cove is fast becoming the world’s most desirable address. The Island is proud to be home to Sentosa Golf Club and its two acclaimed golf courses, The Serapong and The Tanjong. Since 2006, Asia’s richest national open, the annual Barclays Singapore Open, has teed off on The Serapong with star-studded line-ups featuring international players and golf professionals from Asia, Europe and the USA playing to nail-biting finishes. Welcoming a growing number of local and international guests every year, Sentosa is an integral part of Singapore’s goal to be a global destination to work, live and play.
About the Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include ESPN Star Sports (Official Regional TV Broadcaster), Pin High (Official Apparel Partner), Ricoh (Official Office Solutions Provider) and Srixon (Official Ball). Sentosa, Singapore’s premier island resort getaway, is the Home of the Asian Tour.
About the European Tour
The PGA European Tour is an organisation which operates the three leading men's professional golf tours in Europe: the elite European Tour, the Senior Tour and the developmental Challenge Tour. Its headquarters are at Wentworth Club in Virginia Water, Surrey, England. The European Tour is the primary golf tour in Europe.
The European Tour was established by the British-based Professional Golfers' Association, and responsibility was transferred to an independent PGA European Tour organisation in 1984. Most events on the PGA European Tour's three tours are held in Europe, but in recent years an increasing number have been held in other parts of the world outside of North America. The PGA European Tour is a golfer-controlled organisation whose primary purpose is to maximise the income of tournament golfers. It is a company limited by guarantee and is run by a professional staff but controlled by its playing members via a board of directors composed of 12 elected past and present tour players and a Tournament Committee of 14 current players. As of 2007, the Chairman of the Board is Neil Coles and the Chairman of the Tournament Committee is Thomas Bjørn. The European-based events on the European Tour are nearly all played in Western Europe and the most lucrative of them take place in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, France and Spain. The PGA European Tour also stages The Ryder Cup in cooperation with the PGA of America.
For more information, log onto www.barclayssingaporeopen.com