VOLVO WORLD MATCH PLAY Championship AT FINCA CORTESIN, CASARES - DAY 4
2011 volvo world matchplay championship
1st place: Ian Poulter
Poulter Reigns in Spain
By Graham Otway
After playing 108 holes against many of golf’s best players in hot sun over Finca Cortesín hilly layout, Ian Poulter emerged as the winner of the Volvo World Match Play Championship.
In the final, the first of his six matches in four days which did not go to the 18th green or beyond, he beat his fellow Englishman Luke Donald 2 & 1 to take the Euro 800,000, one of the richest prizes on the European Tour. In doing so Poulter became the first golfer in history to have won both the Volvo and Accenture match play titles and enhanced his already strong reputation as a formidable opponent in the sport’s head-to-head format.
Furthermore as he ended Donald’s run of 12 successive match play victories stretching back to his singles battle with Jim Furyk at last year’s Ryder Cup, he denied his rival the opportunity to overtake Lee Westwood at the top of the world rankings.
Poulter’s victory was not without a mishap. At the eighth hole he fell badly onto a cart path attempting to play a shot from scrubland, but that was forgotten as he savoured winning the biggest title of his career on the seventh birthday of his son – named, like his opponent, Luke.
“The key to my victory was finally starting to hole putts after a frustrating last few months. And it is a nice boost because there have been a lot of questions asked about the way I have been playing this year.”
Eventually at the first extra hole he finally overcame Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts, who, playing at the highest level in golf for the first time, had exceeded both his and everyone else’s expectations by progressing to the final four having disposed of Major winners Retief Goosen and Graeme McDowell.
“I got to play against all these boys and I pushed them all the way to the end. Confidence is pretty high and this week has been really very, very exciting.”
“Luke never really opens the door for you,” said Kaymer. “I won just one hole and he missed the fairway there. Besides that I did not win a hole. If I made a birdie he made a birdie. For me it just felt impossible today.”
“I knew it was going to be difficult. I thought there may be just a little bit of a chance but I just didn’t see it today.”
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