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Sports - April 11, 2018
Ian Poulter qualifies for The Masters 2018
Ian Poulter, Lake Nona resident, secured his place at the Masters after a nerveless play-off victory against American Beau Hossler at the Houston Open.
Poulter will be at Augusta and almost certainly, after his incredible display in the final three rounds, play at the Ryder Cup in September as well. This was his first strokeplay win in America and his first anywhere since his ‘year from the gods’ in 2012.
If anything sums up his indefatigable spirit, it is the fact that in 35 years the PGA Tour has never witnessed any player coming from as low down as 123rd on the first-round leaderboard to take home the title. His 64-65-67, to go from one-over to 19-under, were quite possibly the best three rounds of his life.
With just one space remaining in the first major of the season, Poulter had no option but to win or else travel to Augusta as a Sky Sports analyst like last year. Poulter could but watch and wonder if this Masters was always going to be out of reach.
After his close call the week before, it seemed so cruel, and his fate seemed sealed on the 18th. The Californian played a spectacular approach from the fairway bunker on the treacherous 18th safely to the green.
However, fate smiled, and Ian Poulter arrived at Augusta determined to build on his staggering success at the Houston Open.
Also, Telegraph Sport revealed two weeks ago that Poulter had dug out the flat-stick which inspired Europe’s dramatic fightback at the “Miracle of Medinah” Ryder Cup six years ago. For all that time the missing piece in his comeback was gathering dust in a bag in his office. Well, not anymore.
Poulter secured the last place in the field at Augusta National with his victory at the Houston Open. He also admitted that his lack of preparation was a factor over the first three days. But he rallied to card a closing 69 with seven birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey on the fifth. He ended the tournament on four over par.