Friday, December 03, 2010

Poulter posts the numbers in November

Ian Poulter has won The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month award for November following his victory in the UBS Hong Kong Open and two other top ten finishes in a superb end to the season. The Englishman, who receives an engraved alms dish and a jeroboam of Moët & Chandon champagne in recognition of his achievement, triumphed at Hong Kong Golf Club by one shot from Italian teenager Matteo Manassero, posting an impressive 22 under par 258 which included a stunning ten under par 60 in the second round. The victory was sandwiched between a tie for sixth place in the Barclays Singapore Open in defence of the title he won the previous year, and the runners-up spot at the season-ending Dubai World Championship presented by DP World. Having tied at 14 under par 274 with Sweden’s Robert Karlsson after four rounds over the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates, the pair traded birdies at the first play-off hole before Poulter dropped his ball on his marker on the green of the second extra hole. The marker moved, initiating a one shot penalty, which was enough for Karlsson, who birdied the hole anyway, to clinch the title. It was an unfortunate finish for Poulter, but he was widely praised not only for the fact he alerted the rules officials to the incident, but for the way he graciously accepted the situation and the subsequent defeat. His prize money for second place, however, took him to a career-high fourth in The Race to Dubai, with earnings of €3,027,008 for 2010. Veteran television commentator Renton Laidlaw, a member of the judging panel, said: “Ian has been in tremendous form over the last month and he was thoroughly deserving of his victory in Hong Kong. Not only does he produce some fantastic golf, he entertains the crowds with his flair and colourful character. “He was just outside the top ten in the WGC-HSBC Champions in China and ran Adam Scott close to put up a wonderful defence of his title in Singapore before winning in style in Hong Kong. To then also play as well as he did once again in Dubai before showing sportsmanship at the end of the tournament, means he is not only a worthy winner of the award this month, but also a credit to the game.” It was a difficult decision for the judging panel, comprising a cross section of the golfing media, who considered yet another month on The European Tour where each and every victory had strong merits. The panel commended Italy’s Francesco Molinari, who went head to head with World Number One Lee Westwood to win the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai; Robert Karlsson, who claimed his second European Tour title of the season in Dubai, and Adam Scott, who won the Barclays Singapore Open at Sentosa Golf Club for the third time in six years. However the decision went to Poulter who now has the honour of being the only player to have won a monthly award twice in 2010 having picked up February nomination following his victory in the WGC-Accenture Match Play in Arizona.Other winners of the award in 2010 are South Africans Charl Schwartzel (January), Ernie Els (March) and Louis Oosthuizen (July); the English duo of Luke Donald (May) and John Parry (September); the Northern Irish pair of Rory McIlroy (April) and Graeme McDowell (June), Germany’s Martin Kaymer (August) and Italian Matteo Manassero (October). The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Year will be decided next week.

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