HUMBLE, Texas – With his back again against the wall and a trip to the particular Masters once again slipping away, Ian Poulter summoned all the strength plus focus he could muster and transferred himself back to 2012.
Using the same putter with which this individual tormented the U. S. team at the Ryder Cup six in years past, Poulter stood over a 19-foot birdie putt on the final hole which he had to have. It was a last-ditch work to salvage a tournament that will hours earlier he appeared meant to win, only to watch the particular tide turn against him since it had so many times before.
But the ghosts that have haunted the particular Englishman in recent close phone calls were nowhere to be found on the seventy two nd gap at the Houston Open, as he had taken dead aim, found his focus on and unleashed a chest lb that might as well be added to their Medinah highlight reel.
The closing birdie forced the playoff with Beau Hossler, one which the steely-eyed Englishman won having a par on the first extra pit to secure his first win considering that 2012 along with that elusive window of Augusta National that he thought had been his a week ago.
“ It’ s been a roller-coaster ride, I’ ll be sincere with you, ” Poulter said. “ It was a good decision to come right here this week, to be aggressive right from the start to attempt to force my way in. ”
Poulter is never someone to hide his emotions, and that has been more than evident this week in Houston, where he originally debated even appearing. He had thought he was in the particular Masters with his performance at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, only to learn minutes before a quarterfinal reduction to Kevin Kisner that he hadn’ t yet done enough.
Still fuming from exactly what he perceived as mis-information, Poulter performed Thursday like a man who wished to be anywhere else. When he came back to finish the final hole of their opening round the next morning, this individual was tied for 123 rd among the 144-man field – depths that no player has returned in order to win on the PGA Tour within the last 35 years. His bags had been even packed in anticipation of the missed cut.
Of people to pull off such a Herculean return, Poulter was probably low among the list of possibilities. Despite being richly skilled and maintaining a world-class standing up for years, he had won only two times on Tour and had never taken a stroke-play event in the Oughout. S. His last win anyplace came in November 2012 in Cina.
But that would be precisely what he needed to make the Masters, which was the only reason Poulter came along in Houston. So facing the seemingly impossible task after becoming within arm’ s length of Magnolia Lane a week ago, he went on a good unfathomable tear.
Poulter played his final 60 openings at the Golf Club of Houston within 21 under, making just an one bogey in what he called among the best golf of his 19-year profession.
“ It was effort, and it takes a lot of mental power to be able to do that. Disappointment kicks within at some stage, ” Poulter mentioned. “ But you know what? At times you need to dig deep. When you want something poor enough, then you have to go as a result of the bottom and grab hold of that which you can to come back up. ”
But those eye-popping statistics only drew him even with Hossler, who surged down the stretch to show a three-shot deficit with ten holes to go into an one-shot direct heading to the final tee.
The former Texas Longhorn had their putter raised high in the air like a birdie try of his own monitored toward the hole on eighteen, only to creep past the right advantage. Moments later, he could only view as Poulter forced overtime.
“ I did think I actually made that putt on the final hole, but it hung out there, ” Hossler said. “ Ian fundamentally had the same putt, and there’ s no way he’ s likely to miss it after watching our ball. I said yesterday I desired to beat these guys at their finest, and I think I saw Ian’ s greatest today. ”
Poulter’ s last-minute Masters bid can get much of the attention, but he had been quick to focus on the long-term implications. After all, it was less than a year back that he believed he had played their way out of a Tour card carrying out a foot injury, his status restored only by the same sort of paperwork error that went against your pet last week in Austin.
With all the trophy sitting next to him, Poulter’ s eyes grew wide whenever discussing the two-year exemption this particular win carries as he continues to stability a busy schedule on both edges of the Atlantic.
However the allure of Augusta is unquestionable. Players have used the Houston occasion to earn a last-minute visit to the Masters for the past 11 many years, but none of their plights had been quite as improbable as Poulter’ s whirlwind fortnight in the Single Star State.
Right after falling victim to a math mistake last week and writing off their own chances only three days back, Poulter looked within and uncovered exactly what he needed to snag the particular 87 th and final spot in the Experts. This time, there will be no calculators necessary.
“ The trip continues, ” Poulter said. “ I’ ve had 19 great years on Tour, and I speculate I’ ve got another few coming. So there’ s lifestyle in the old dog yet. ”