Poulter Hangs on For Victory


Englands Ian Poulter held on Sunday with a final round of 70 to successfully win the Moroccan Open by two strokes at 15-under-par 277.
Free Video - Registration Required 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