Poulter Returns to Site of Inaugural Win

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Ian Poulter heads to Italy this week for the defense of his first win on the European Tour at the Atlanet Italian Open.
 
Poulter took last years title at the Is Molas Golf Club thanks to four rounds in the 60s and a total score of 21-under-par 267. Not only was the win his first of the year, but it also saw him through to the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award for 2000.
 
This year, the 25-year-old Englishman has already won again, when he triumphed at the Moroccan Open.
 
He will join up with several other youngsters in this weeks field, including Adam Scott, Trevor Immelman, Justin Rose and Steve Webster.
 
Webster nearly tasted his first victory last week at the Open de Madrid, when he lost to Retief Goosen on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff.
 
For Goosen, the win saw him lock up the Volvo Order of Merit title, but for Webster, the good finish will undoubtedly give him confidence entering this weeks event in Italy.
 
The Italian Open is the second-to-last event on the official 2001 European Tour schedule. The year will wrap up the following week at the Volvo Masters Andalucia in Spain. Following that event, the finalized Order of Merit list will determine who remains on tour for 2002 and who will not.
 
The Italian Open is one of the oldest events on the European Tour. Starting in 1925, it has been won by the likes of Greg Norman (86), Sam Torrance (87, 95), Bernhard Langer (83, 97), Peter Oosterhuis (74), Peter Alliss (27, 35, 58) and David Feherty (86).