6. POULTER PUMPS WIN IN HOUSTON
Date: Apr. 1, 2018
Event: Houston Open
Where: Golf Club of Houston (Humble, TX)
Winner: Ian Poulter -19 (playoff) | Runner-up: Beau Hossler -19
Recap: A series of injuries and uncharacteristically poor play plummeted Ian Poulter, long considered one of the best in the world, to as far as No. 207 in the Official World Golf Rankings in early 2017, and very nearly lost his PGA Tour card entirely. But he’s done well re-establishing himself since, and after a strong showing at last week’s WGC-Match Play, he reached No. 51 in the rankings, one spot short of what he needed for the automatic Masters birth.
He drew some ridicule for how he handled himself after being told he had made the field at The Masters, and nearly decided against even playing in Houston, but in the end decided it was a worth one last shot.
Poulter’s round-one 73 had him in a tie for 123rd, eight shots out of the lead, but it took only 36 holes for him to make that seemingly insurmountable climb back to the top, as two incredible middle rounds made him a co-leader going into Sunday.
Poulter kept his foot on the gas pedal, carding birdies on Nos. 2, 4, 6, and 8 to take a three-shot lead, but a bogey on the 9th cut that lead to two at the turn.
Hossler, the other 54-hole co-leader, had eight pars and a birdie on the front nine, but suddenly burst into the lead after a grand slam of birdies on 12, 13, 14, and 15.
A birdie attempt on 18 to clinch his first career PGA Tour victory slid barely right of the hole, and suddenly, despite a bogey-free 5-under 67 on Sunday (the same Sunday score as Poulter), Hossler was met with the brutally difficult task of taking down Poulter, a man with a 4-0-1 career singles Ryder Cup record in a playoff, in what was essentially match-play.
It didn’t go well for the young Texan, as he butchered the first playoff hole, meaning Poulter was able to win with a par.
WATCH POULTER’S CLUTCH PUTT
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