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Poulter Wins Australian Masters


Ian Poulter closed with a 4-under 67 to win the Australian Masters. The 37-year-old ended up at 15-under 269 at Victoria Golf Club in Melbourne, three strokes ahead of Marcus Fraser, who shot a 64, and four in front of third-round leader Geoff Ogilvy, both of Australia.

Poulter began the final round two strokes behind Ogilvy, who grew up on the Alister MacKenzie-designed Victoria - a course he estimated playing over 1,000 times - and figured to have a home field advantage. But Ogilvy faltered on a windy Sunday, finishing with a 2-over 73 to allow Poulter to sail home and don the gold jacket emblematic of the Australian Masters' champion.

"To win this is the second highlight in what has been a tough year for me," said Poulter, who also won the Volvo World Match Play Championship in May.

He began the week 28th in the World Golf Ranking but figures to move up. "To do this in a Ryder Cup year and move inside the top 20 on the world rankings means a heck of a lot.

"I've been chilled all week and today was a day for patience. There was no getting away with bad shots in the wind and in a way I think that really helped me focus," Poulter added. "I hit some really good shots today. It was a pure ball-striking round of golf although I lost concentration over the last two holes."

After threatening the leaders on the front nine with four birdies and a bogey, No. 1-ranked Luke Donald slipped back into the field with four bogeys on the back for a 72 and a tie for 12th finish. Donald was happy for his friend and fellow Brit. "If you ask Ian, he won't say he had his greatest year this year. Obviously he had a victory in the match play but outside of that he has probably been a little bit disappointing," Donald said.

"Ian has a very strong mind, even when his golf isn't quite on, he is able to grind out a score and I think he would be the first to tell you that he has done very well this week. I had dinner with him a couple of times and he said he wasn't hitting it great but he was able to get the ball in the hole and that is always the aim."

For all the scores, visit http://www.pga.org.au/scores/717.