SINGAPORE – Ian Poulter captured his first win in three years Sunday at the Singapore Open despite shooting a 1-over 72 in the final round.
The 33-year-old Englishman finished the rain-delayed tournament a wire-to-wire winner at 10-under 274, one shot ahead of China's Wen-Chong Liang.
After three days of weather stoppages and suspensions, players were on the course for nearly nine hours Sunday as they finished up the third and fourth rounds.
Liang managed only two bogeys and eight pars over his final 10 holes and shot a 1-under 70 to finish a stroke back at 9-under 275.
Struggling Australian star Adam Scott fired a 3-under 68 to share third place with Scott Hend (69) at 8-under 276.
Graeme McDowell, in the lead at one point, made three consecutive bogeys and shot a 74 to finish tied for fifth place with Charl Schwartzel (69) and Anders Hansen (70) at 7-under 277.
Poulter, after making two early birdies, suffered through a six-hole stretch during which he made four bogeys. He missed a 4-foot putt at the ninth hole for one of those dropped shots.
By the time he made back-to-back bogeys at the 11th and 12th – the end of that stretch – Poulter had surrendered the lead to McDowell and was growing frustrated.
'I was getting angry,' he said. 'I played so well earlier this week and it's just so annoying to ... make bogey, bogey and lose the lead, and Graeme was now in the lead. I felt like I had to do something.'
Poulter holed a 30-foot birdie putt at the 13th to set himself straight, calling the stroke 'a nice boost.'
'It pumped me up,' Poulter said. '(But) I don't know if it calmed me down.'
It ended up being his final birdie of the tournament, but it was all that Poulter needed. McDowell bogeyed three consecutive holes from the 14th to the 16th, and all Poulter needed was a routine two-putt par at the 18th to beat Liang by a shot.
Picking up his first win since the 2006 Madrid Open, Poulter, who began the week ranked 21st in the world, said he would like to get close to the top 10 by the end of the year.
'But we've got some weeks to go,' he said.
The strong field at Sentosa Golf Club also included Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson, who shared 14th place with five other players, and Padraig Harrington, who tied for 38th.