Ian Poulter couldn’t stop smiling as he donned the golden jacket of the Australian Master’s.
He managed to finish the fourth and final round in under 67 shots, giving him the victory he had been dreaming of.
After what has been a tough year for him, he was pleased to re-find the form that helped Europe win the Ryder Cup and move up in to the World gold rankings top 20 league, which is quite an achievement and obviously meant a lot to him.
Poulter ended the tournament at 15 under par for the 72 holes, and is now one of the favourites to win a major this year, with the best golf betting odds placing him at just 3/1 to win one of the 4 tournaments!
Although this has been a tremendous win for him, he feels that this has not been one of his best years in his professional career – apart from this victory, he has not been performing well in the last few match play tournaments in which he has participated and needs more consistency.
He exclaimed on his Twitter feed that he would celebrate this victory with a turkey feast at his place with his family, and admitted that luck had played its part in his win – particualraly on the 13th green when a chip-shot dropped in for an eagle.
He realized the importance of being patient and did not panic at crucial situations, managing to keep concentration levels up until the very last hole. Well done Poults!
Graeme McDowell’s 2010 season was sensational. His first major victory came in the US Open at Pebble Beach and then he topped that at The Ryder Cup. McDowell hit a 6-iron to 15 feet for a birdie on the 16th to take the lead and then win the cup for Europe.
Then completing the season at Sherwood, from a deficit from a four-shot and made a pair of 20-foot birdie putts on the 18th hole to beat Tiger Woods in a playoff. No one had ever come back from more than two shots behind in any pro-trournament and then beaten Woods.
However following up a dream season like that with another was a task way more daunting.
Graeme started the new season at Kapalua where he shot 62 on the last day and missed the playoff by one shot, and then he flew around the world to Abu Dhabi and tied for third. A decent start but he felt something was already missing.
McDowell took a break to unwind but he’s not sure he managed to do that. He says taking a break in the middle of the season, you never really switch-off. And when he did come back on, he already felt key components of his game missing.
Graeme had a lead at the Players Championship by one-shot but closed with a 79. He had never missed a shot in practice at the British Open but hit a double bogey in the opening hole.
“Last year,everything went right. This year, everything went wrong” was what he said.
Even then, McDowell says he has learned a lot more about himself during the forgettable season of 2011 than his 2010 dream season. The biggest lesson he learned was “Your own expectations are dangerous”.