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Poulter Takes HSBC-Champions


Ian Poulter added to what's becoming a banner year, closing with a 7-under 65 to win the WGC-HSBC Champions. The $7 million event began Thursday on the Olazabal Course at Mission Hills Golf Club in Guangdong, China.

The 36-year-old Englishman overcame a four-stroke deficit entering the final round to pick up the $1.2 million winner's share. He finished at 21-under 267, two strokes ahead of Americans Jason Dufner (64), Phil Mickelson (68) and Scott Piercy (65), and South Africa's Ernie Els (67).

Although the victory was Poulter's second on the PGA Tour - his previous title was the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in 2010, it was his fourth top-10 finish in only 15 events in the U.S. and brought his earnings to $1,715,271. Poulter was also the star on the victorious 2012 European Ryder Cup team, going 4-0 in his matches at Medinah Country Club near Chicago.

Poulter said his attitude entering the tournament was boosted by his father-son management team of Paul and James Dunkley. "We talked about how I could convert that 'killer instinct' I have in the Ryder Cup and in match-play events into stroke-play competition," said Poulter, who returned to the top-15 in the world golf rankings with his second WGC title.

"Everyone kept asking me why I couldn't do it, why I didn't have that mindset week-in, week-out. It's about going out there and knowing exactly what have to do, about knowing the course and about being aggressive. I have done exactly that here. I have been very aggressive to targets and converted putts at the right time.

"I've definitely taken a lot from the Ryder Cup and am obviously riding that wave as much as I possibly can. I need to bottle as much of that confidence to use in stroke play events. It's definitely worked this week. Hopefully it will for a long time.

"This (victory) was sorely needed," he added. "As well as I've played this year, and as special as the Ryder Cup was, I really would have been disappointed to finish the campaign without a personal victory. This has confirmed to me that I have the game to win majors."

Though Poulter is now fourth in the European Tour's money list - the Race to Dubai, he will not be playing next event in Singapore, opting instead to return to the U.S. to spend time with his family.

Also opting out of the Barclays Singapore Open are the No. 2 and 3 players in the Race to Dubai, Peter Hanson and Justin Rose, which virtually assures that Rory McIlroy will duplicate the feat first set last year by Luke Donald when the Englishman won the money list titles on both the PGA and European tours.

The 54-hole co-leaders, Louis Oosthuizen and Lee Westwood, ended up sharing sixth at 18-under 270 after both shot even-par 72s in the final round. On Saturday, Westwood shot a 61.

Brandt Snedeker, who fired a course-record 60 in the third round, posted a 71 to take a share of 11th at 274.

For complete scoring, visit http://www.worldgolfchampionships.com/leaderboards/current/r489/index.html.