Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

February 24, 2013

Poulter, Mahan on collision course at Match Play

(Continued)

“I know it’s not the top four in the world, probably what everyone was hoping for,” Mahan said. “But there’s been a lot of great golf played, a lot of great shot, a lot of great putts. There’s a lot of great players.”
Along with a perfect singles record in the Ryder Cup, Poulter has won the WGC version of the Match Play Championship and the World Match Play Championship in Spain in 2011. He wasn’t aware of his sterling record since 2010, nor did he sound terribly surprised.
“I’m pretty proud of it,” he said. “Does it surprise me? I love match play.”
That much is becoming abundantly clear. After he pulled away from Tim Clark of South Africa in the third round Saturday morning, he faced his toughest challenge yet in Stricker, who started his 46th birthday celebration by making eight birdies in a brilliantly played match against Scott Piercy in the third round.
Stricker holed a 30-foot putt on the final hole for the win, and then ran into someone who putted even better.
The match effectively turned on the third hole. After they traded birdies, Stricker stuffed his tee shot into 6 feet, while Poulter pulled his shot some 40 feet away above the ridge. Poulter wound up making the putt, and all Stricker could do was laugh. He missed his short birdie, and the momentum shifted for good.
Describing the big moment, it wasn’t clear if Poulter was talking about his putt or driving through a roundabout in England.
“It was 40 feet, left-to-right, right-to-left, right-to-left again, hopefully slowing down on the ridge, taking a left-hand turn, down the slope and then chucking a little left to right at the end to drop it,” Poulter said. “It was really nice.”

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