Ian Poulter is going to Augusta on Tuesday to play in the Masters. That seemed impossible last Thursday when Poulter opened with a 73 at the Houston Open and was near the bottom of the first-round scores. His bags were packed for a Friday departure.
But then the Englishman caught fire.
A 64, 65 and a final-round 67 that included a birdie on the 72nd hole put Poulter in a sudden-death playoff with Beau Hossler (67). The youthful Hossler and 42-year-old veteran tied at 19-under 269.
Poulter prevailed on the first playoff hole after Hossler hit into the water from a greenside bunker. It was Poulter’s third PGA Tour victory and first since 2012.
“He can smell the azaleas,” NBC golf analyst Johnny Miller said.
“Last week was painful,” Poulter admitted to NBC Sports’ Steve Burkowski. “And to come here this week, I was tired, I was frustrated on Thursday. I didn’t play my best stuff. I had packed my bags obviously to leave on Friday.”
He added: “This is amazing. I haven’t won a stroke play event in the States. So to do it this week after the disappointment of last week… To know I’m going to Augusta, to do it in this fashion. It’s amazing.”
A key to Poulter’s victory was his Odyssey #7 putter that returned to his bag last week at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. It’s the same putter the Englishman used to drain clutch putts that helped defeat the Americans at Medinah in the 2012 Ryder Cup.
“It’s not going anywhere anytime soon,” Poulter said about the putter.
Ian Poulter’s Clubs
(As reported by PGATOUR.COM)
Poulter uses Titleist equipment. Here’s a look at his bag for the Houston Open.
Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5 degrees) with Mitsubishi Tensei Orange CK 60TX shaft
3-Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees) with Matrix Ozik TP7HDe 7X shaft
Hybrid: Titleist 816 H2 (21 degrees) with Aldila Tour Green ATX85H TX shaft
Irons: Titleist 716 T-MB (4-iron) with Project X LZ 130 7.0 shaft); Titleist 718 AP2 (5-PW) with Project X LZ 130 7.0 shafts
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 (52.12F, 56.14F and 60.04L degrees) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts
Putter: Odyssey #7
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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