Ian Poulter has denied his compatriot Luke Donald the chance to get the golf world no. 1 ranking after he defeated him 2 and 1 in the World Match Play Championship finals.
Poulter, who ranks No. 22, won two of the last four holes with birdies in the Andalusian final, defeating top-ranked Lee Westwood in the last 16.
“It’s a nice boost. Questions have been asked of me over the last five months,” said Poulter, who sealed his first tournament victory in 2011 and picked up a winner’s cheque for 800,000 ($1.14 million).
Had he won the tournament, second-ranked Donald would have gotten Westwood’s No. 1 ranking. However, he missed the chance the same way he missed it when he lost to Brandt Snedeker in a playoff during last month’s The Heritage in South Carolina.
“Ian took his opportunities and I didn’t,” Donald said. “It leaves a sour taste in my mouth. But I just ran out of steam a little bit.”
Poulter, who won last year’s Accenture version, was the first player to win the two Match Play titles on either side of the Atlantic.
Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium was beaten by Poulter Sunday during the second semi-final’s first playoff hole.
A throat infection bothered Donald but he marched to the final relentlessly, although he only made four bogeys and one birdie at the 6th. Donald’s fate was sealed by the 14th and 16th birdies for Poulter.
Poulter told Sky Sports: “I finally started holing some putts. I’ve been frustrated for a few months and you have to hole putts to win.”