Poulter Hangs on For Victory
Poulter talks about his win
The victory marks his second in six months on the European Tour, and has the 25-year-old now thinking in terms of a Ryder Cup future.
The Ryder Cup is the overall picture Im looking at, claimed the ambitious Poulter. After winning last year I said I wanted to win twice this year and give myself a chance for the team.
Now Ive got one of the wins. Its going to need a huge points total, so theres a long way to go, but its nice to be playing well with the really big-money events coming up now.
Poulter made last seasons Italian Open his inaugural win on tour, and he would go on to record a second-place finish at this very same event at Moroccos Royal Golf Dar-es-Salams Red Course.
As a result of his performances last season, he was named the 2000 Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year.
As a result of his play this week, Poulter suddenly finds himself approximately $95,000 richer and in 12th place on the Ryder Cup standings.
Its fantastic, he exclaimed. The hard work over the past few weeks has paid off. That was probably as good as I have putted. I had to to stay ahead.
Indeed he did. For not far behind him all day charged David Lynn, who closed his last round with a score of 67 to finish on 13-under-par. Australias Peter Lonard finished three off the winning pace at minus-12 with a closing round of 68, while Stephen Gallacher and Thomas Levet ended at 10-under.
Poulter began his day with a four-shot lead, quickly picked up a biridie at the 2nd, but then failed to make any kind of a significant move over the next several holes, and watched as the field began eating into his comfortable lead.
This all changed at the par-5 10th, however, when Poulter stuck and 8-iron second shot to three feet for an easy eagle and a solid lead again.
I thought we might put some pressure on Ian but then he got to 15-under and it was effectively all over from there, claimed Lonard. But it has been a good week. I've had four weeks off and this was probably better than I expected.
The week was also very pleasing for Hank Kuehne, as the young American closed with a birdie on the 18th for a final round of 71 to finish at 8-under 284.
The eighth-place finish was good enough to earn the 1998 U.S. Amateur champion a spot in next weeks Spanish Open, without utilizing the sixth of his seven maximum exemptions.
Full-Field Scores from The Moroccan Open
Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia
Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.
Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.
Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.
Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.
It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.
The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.
Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son
ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.
Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.
''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''
They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.
''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''
Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.
''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''
Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.
Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.
Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.
Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.
Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.
The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.