Ian Poulter’s determination as a fierce team competitor during last month’s Ryder Cup matches may have been a preview to what the golf world can expect from the fiery Brit in 2013. Poulter, whose other-world intensity inspired his European team to bounce back from a four-point deficit and defeat the Americans at Medinah, fired a final-round 65 on Sunday to rebound from four shots off the pace for his own come-from-behind win at the HSBC Champions.
Poulter’s patented Ryder Cup fist pump was on full display on the 18th hole after the now-two-time PGA Tour winner rolled in a 10-footer for par and a 21-under, two-shot victory over Phil Mickelson, Jason Dufner, Scott Piercy and Ernie Els.
“It’s been an amazing kinda six weeks,” said Poulter, who began the day four strokes behind 54-hole leaders Lee Westwood and Louis Oosthuizen and recorded four rounds in the 60s (69-68-65-65) to break the tourney record for low score in relation to par.
It was the second World Championship title for Poulter, whose triumph will count as an official tour win and grants him a three-year tour exemption.
"It's just so nice to get my hands on another trophy," he said after the victory ceremony.
Poulter, whose four wins at Medinah catapulted him to a 12-3 Ryder Cup record and the highest winning percentage of any European golfer in history, said heading into the HSBC event that he really wanted to nail down an individual achievement.
“On a personal level need to go out there and win a golf tournament,” Poulter told reporters on Wednesday. “I feel that I've certainly played well enough this year, so I'm going to put some pressure on myself over the last five tournaments to make sure I get a victory.”
Despite a bogey on the par-3 17th, Poulter made some difficult saves down the stretch to sew up the HSBC title. Though Poulter was a co-conspirator with Bubba Watson in whipping the Ryder Cup crowd into a frenzy, there were reportedly a few instances over the weekend at the HSBC when he tried to discourage spectators from using cell phones and cameras.
"I thought I was saying 'No cameras please' in Chinese but, to be honest, I wasn't sure what I was saying,” he told PGATour.com. “I think I made them laugh more than anything."
Even with such distractions, Poulter was able to maintain his composure and the lead. As at the Ryder Cup, Poulter’s putter sizzled, as he drained a five-footer for birdie on the 14th and one from 20 feet for another birdie at 15. He punctuated his win by getting up and down after a tricky chip shot on 18.
“I’m not telling you and I’m not telling anyone else,” Poulter jokingly responded to a query about his secret for making putts when he had to. “I feel confident with a putter right now.”