Ian Poulter wins WGC – Acccenture Match Play Championship

England’s Ian Poulter beat countryman Paul Casey by 4 and 2 to win the WGC – Accenture Match Play Championship and climb to fifth on the Official World Golf Ranking.

Ian Poulter

England's Ian Poulter beat countryman Paul Casey by 4 and 2 to win the WGC - Accenture Match Play Championship and climb to fifth on the Official World Golf Ranking.

In the first ever all-European final, Poulter played an extremely solid day's golf to consign Casey to the runner's-up position for the second year in succession.

Casey began the final day early as he had to finish off his semi final match with Camilo Villegas, it had been halted because of darkness on Saturday night with the pair locked together after five extra holes.

Unfortunately, Villegas hooked his tee-shot on the 24th hole (their first of Sunday morning,) and Casey took the match with a par 4.

There was little chance to reflect for Casey as he was out again almost immediately to face Poulter in the final. Casey came out of the blocks fast, he fired an incredible approach into the par-5 2nd and was conceded an eagle putt. It was the only time Casey would lead.

Poulter struck back with a birdie at the 3rd and, by the 14th hole of the first round, was four clear. Although Casey held the gap at around that level, he was unable to narrow the margin significantly.

Poulter is the first Englishman to win a WGC title. "It feels really, really nice. It's been a long time coming and I am very happy," he said. "There's certainly a few ticked boxes now. It's just another goal achieved, and hopefully we can now set our goals a little higher to kick on for the rest of the year."

Casey, though understandably disappointed at missing out in the final for a second straight year, was gracious in defeat. "Ian played excellent golf. There were a lot of shots I wanted to pull off and didn't, but he did a fantastic job," he said. "There are a lot of positives to come out of the week for me."

One of those positives is that Casey is back up to sixth on the World Ranking, now one behind Poulter. English players now occupy fourth, fifth and sixth spots, (Westwood being fourth).

In the third place playoff a lacklustre Sergio Garcia was brushed aside by Camilo Villegas.

WGC - Accenture Match Play Championship The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, Arizona Feb 17-21, purse $8,500,000, par 72

1    Ian Poulter (Eng)        $1,400,000 2    Paul Casey (Eng)        $850,000 3    Camilo Villegas (Col)    $600,000 4    Sergio Garcia (Esp)    $490,000 T5    Retief Goosen (RSA)    $270,000 T5    Stewart Cink (USA)    $270,000 T5    Oliver Wilson (Eng)    $270,000 T5    Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) $270,000

Note: Player scores in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?