British Invasion: O’s Ian Poulter Triumphs at Hong Kong Open, Grabs Second at Dubai World Championship
Ian Poulter is on a roll…toward the top of the World Rankings.
On a rampage through Asia and the Middle East this past week, Oakley’s British golf rebel emerged victorious at the Hong Kong Open on Nov. 21 – before grabbing a solid runner-up finish at the Dubai World Championship on the Arabian Peninsula this past Sunday.
In one of Asia’s tourist jewel cities, Ian tallied his second title of the year with a one-stroke victory at the Hong Kong Open, edging fellow Englishman Simon Dyson, who tied for second with Matteo Manassero of Italy.
His final round of 67 saw Oakley’s Team Star finish the event on 22 under par, despite bogeying the final hole. He came into the last day as the leader, but met stiff resistance from a talented field of challengers, including newly signed O golfer Rory McIlroy, who finished in sixth. But at the end of the day, Poulter came out on top – taking his 10th victory on the European Tour and catapulting him up to an 11th place standing in the world rankings.
The victory set positive momentum for the following event in the Middle East – where he’d have the opportunity to make a solid charge at advancing in the rankings.
“I think I’ll just try winning next week and see how high I can go,” he said, rocking his Oakley Flak Jacket shades. “Tiger has dropped a lot of points and (Lee) Westwood is world number one but if I keep playing well, then who knows? I could get up there.”
Zipping to a few days later in Dubai – the result was pretty dang solid. He raged into the final day with the lead. But he wasn’t about to cruise unopposed.
An intense playoff ensued on the final day of the World Championship between Ian and Robert Karlsson – as the two tied on the 14 under par mark of 274 after Karlsson, three behind overnight, played the first three holes in four under and then pitched to three feet for a birdie on the 620 yard last.
The two sat in rounds 67 and 70 respectively – and sudden death was the only option in crowning the victor.
Both birdied the first extra hole after hitting approaches within five feet, and at the second extra hole Poulter hiccuped with his sand wedge approach to leave a 30 foot putt and a major challenge.
Karlsson capitalized, sending his ball three feet from the cup – while Ian unfortunately picked up a controversial one shot penalty when he dropped his ball on his marker and moved it.
Two putts meant a bogey six for Poulter, but the penalty proved to be irrelevant as Karlsson holed his birdie putt for the clear advantage and the win.
Nonetheless, Ian’s solid finish pushed him into the World’s Top 10 – with him holding 8th in the standings. With that, the formidable O Team Star and Ryder Cup hero continues to claw his way toward the top of the rankings.
A huge congratulations to Ian for an awesome past couple of weeks!