England’s Ian Poulter fired a closing round of 65 to finish on a four-round total of 21-under-par and win the WGC-HSBC Champions at Mission Hills Golf Club in China by two shots.
Poulter posted a 65 on Saturday to get back into contention in the last WGC event of the year, and he continued his good form on the final day, scoring eight birdies over the last 18 holes. He set a clubhouse total that none of those following could match and he ended up winning by two from Americans Jason Dufner, Scott Piercy and Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els of South Africa.
It was Poulter’s 12th European Tour title and his second WGC event, after he claimed the 2010 Accenture Match Play Championship. It’s been a fantastic end to the season for the Englishman who played a pivotal role at the Ryder Cup in Medinah.
“It’s been an amazing five or six weeks with The Ryder Cup and then coming here in good spirits,” he said. “It was a special day today. I knew there was a good round of golf in me out there on that golf course; as we saw yesterday, if you start going low and get a number on the board then you’re going to be hard to beat. I feel confident with the putter right now. It’s so nice to get my hands on another trophy and get back in the winner’s circle.”
Early in the final round it looked as though another Englishman, Lee Westwood, might take the title. He began Sunday tied for the lead with Louis Oosthuizen, and he hit the front with birdies at the third and fourth.
But Westwood’s challenge faded on the run for home as Poulter charged to the top of the leaderboard and held his position there.
Jason Dufner and Scott Piercy played excellent closing rounds of 64 and 65 respectively to lift themselves into a tie for second place with Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els.
With the victory, Poulter has climbed to fourth on the Race to Dubai standings. He’s also moved up to 15th on the Official World Golf Ranking. Dufner has moved to seventh and Louis Oosthuizen has broken into the top-10.
Mission Hills GC, Shenzen, China
Nov 1-4, purse €5,374,693, par 72
1 Ian Poulter (Eng) 69 68 65 65 267 €921,376
T2 Jason Dufner (USA) 68 66 71 64 269 €320,562
T2 Ernie Els (RSA) 70 63 69 67 269 €320,562
T2 Phil Mickelson (USA) 66 69 66 68 269 €320,562
T2 Scott Piercy (USA) 68 68 68 65 269 €320,562
T6 Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 65 63 70 72 270 €145,885
T6 Lee Westwood (Eng) 70 67 61 72 270 €145,885
8 Adam Scott (Aus) 65 68 71 67 271 €119,011
9 Martin Kaymer (Ger) 68 69 67 68 272 €107,494
10 Bill Haas (USA) 69 67 66 71 273 €95,977
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage