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Golf

Poulter wins HSBC Champions 2012

John David Mercer-US Presswire

Ian Poulter (pictured) won his second World Golf Championship event with victory in the HSBC Champions 2012 in China.

The English player is the only golfer from that country to win the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, a victory achieved in 2011. However, the manner of this week’s win on the Olazabal Course at Mission Hills in the Chinese city of Shenzhen will be cause for more satisfaction.

After 36 holes Poulter was nine shots behind Louis Oosthuizen who had established a five shot lead. Poulter finally outscored that player by three shots which means he played over the weekend in twelve shots fewer than Oosthuizen.

This has been a wonderful spell in Poulter’s career. He has said that even winning a major championship would not match his efforts at the Ryder Cup. With the match looking almost certain to be won by the United States Poulter produced five birdies in as many holes alongside Rory McIlroy to beat Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson in the Saturday afternoon fourballs.

That crucial point meant the deficit ahead of the singles was four points, still significant but not impossible to overturn. Poulter was then good to his word by delivering the singles point he promised by beating Webb Simpson on that unforgettable Sunday in Chicago.

Poulter began his final round in China six shots off the pace and the tournament appeared to be showdown between Oosthuizen and Lee Westwood. The latter player had played himself into contention with a round of 61 on Saturday, making up nine shots on Oosthuizen in the process.

In the final round Poulter had eight birdies in 15 holes and no blemishes. A bogey at the par 17th did not prevent him winning the event by two shots, with Dufner again runner-up. He was also second in the Perth International two weeks ago, that time beaten by Bo Van Pelt.

Three other players were tied second, including British Open champion Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson. It was a solid week for Mickelson, with four rounds under par but a double bogey on his last hole on day two was crucial. Scott Piercy also had a great week to be tied second, proving he has the potential to be competitive at the highest level.