Poulter claims Match Play trophy

TUCSON: Ian Poulter beat Paul Casey 4 and 2 in an all-English final to win the Accenture Match Play Championship on Sunday, earning a long-awaited first victory in the United States.

Poulter’s 10th victory globally was also his first in an elite World Golf Championships event and will see him jump to fifth in the world golf rankings. “I would say my short game this week’s been as good as it has ever been and I putted very, very well,” said Poulter, who collected $1.4 million. “I’m just so happy to finally win on American soil,” added Poulter, who is perhaps known by US golf spectators for his flashy clothing as well as his game.

Poulter deserved his win after outplaying Casey for most of the 36-hole final. Poulter trailed only once, after the second hole, but he took the lead for good at the seventh and was 2-up after 18 holes. Casey never got closer than that during the afternoon round, although the quality of his golf improved. Perhaps he was mentally drained after taking six extra holes to beat Camilo Villegas in the semi-finals.

Their match was halted by darkness on Saturday night and they resumed on Sunday. Casey needed just one more hole to beat Villegas, but the effort left him flat for much of the final.

“I was amazed they were on the course three hours after I finished,” said Poulter, who was tweeting from his hotel on Saturday evening as Casey and Villegas labored on. “It was nice I could sit back and relax while they were still working hard and that might be one of the factors why I’ve come through today,” Poulter added.

In the 18-hole consolation final, Colombia’s Villegas beat Spaniard Sergio Garcia 5 and 4 to finish third in the event.