World Rankings Week 13: Poulter’s off to Augusta

April 02 , 2018

PGA Tour - Houston Open

Poulter won for the third time on the PGA TOUR, and his first in America since the Match Play in 2010 at Arizona. This was his first stroke-play victory in America, and the timing could not have been better.

Down to his last putt, Poulter made a 20-foot birdie on the 18th hole to force a playoff with Beau Hossler, and then he won the Houston Open with a par on the first extra hole to earn the last spot in the Masters.

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Hossler, who also shot 67, overcame a three-shot deficit with four straight birdies on the back nine. He had a chance to win on the 18th in regulation with a 30-foot birdie putt that trickled over the right edge of the cup.

That set the stage for Poulter, and the 42-year-old from England lived up to his nickname as "The Postman" by delivering his biggest putt in years. Poulter pounded his chest five times when the putt dropped, and all Hossler could do was smile.

In the sudden-death playoff on the 18th, one of the more daunting finishing holes off the tee with water down the left side and a bunker to the right, Hossler found the bunker for the second time. He hit into a greenside bunker, and his third shot caught way too much ball and went over the green and into the water.

Poulter was safely on the green as Hossler took his penalty drop, chipped onto the green and took two putts for a triple bogey.

They finished at 19-under 269. - Savannah Golf Championship

21-year-old Burns carded a final-round, 7-under 65 to win the inaugural Savannah Golf Championship, his maiden victory on Tour. The Shreveport, Louisiana native was the only player in the field to birdie the final three holes at Deer Creek Golf Course at The Landings Club on Sunday. Playing in the final group, he two-putted the par-5 18th hole and posted 21-under-par 267, one-stroke lower than Roberto Castro, who tied the course record with an 8-under 64.

“Anytime you can get a win on any professional Tour, much less the Tour, it’s always a nice feeling,” said Burns, who picked up a first-place prize worth $99,000. “There are a lot of good competitors out here. I know that there’s no slacking off and I need to keep trying to play well and put myself in the right position.”

Burns is in the driver’s seat to earn one of 25 TOUR cards awarded in Portland later this year. With a total of $152,357 in earnings, the former Louisiana State University standout moved to No. 4 on the Regular Season money list. He’s now $53,252 behind money leader Sungjae Im and doesn’t intend on taking his foot off the gas.

“I have a lot of confidence going forward,” said Burns. “My game is good enough to win out here and I have the confidence to do that now.”

After opening the tournament with an even-par 72, Burns battled to get into contention. The Tour rookie enjoys the surprise each round holds and doesn’t let one off day affect his entire week.

“Each day is a new day and each round is a new round,” said Burns, who made one eagle, 21 birdies and two bogeys in the last three rounds. “You kind of go out there and not know what to expect and try to play the best you can. Some days it’s good some days it’s not. It’s just one of those things where I was able to get hot for 54 holes and end up the champion this week.”

China Tour –Bo Ao Open

American Charlie Saxon won the Bo Ao Open, the 2nd event of 2018 China Tour in Hainan on the 1st of April with a 23-under par, securing his second continuous triumph in this season’s Tour. Luke Toomey from New Zealand finished 2nd with 21 under par and Suteepat finished 3rd with a -20.

Saxon started the final round in the leading position and grabbed five birdies and no bogie all day, which is the best performance among the leader's group.

“I had some bad putting strokes today, especially those 12 to 15 feet ones, but I managed to avoid any bogie today and played stably throughout the day,” said Saxon after the match.

“It’s a long season, and there’s a bunch of outstanding players here, who also have the chances to win as well so I need to play as well as I can throughout the year.”

With his career goal set to enter the PGA Tour by the age of 30, Saxon participated the event at the Yulongwan Golf Club 2 years ago during the 2016 season and finished 2nd. He said he had some good memories of the course and certainly will enjoy it in the coming event this month.

Luke Toomey from New Zealand, who grabbed four birdies and no bogies today, finished in the second place, said the 17th hole was the most intense one of the day. “ After the birdie at the 16th hole, I was just 1 point behind Charlie. However, he played well at hole 17, and that gave me a lot of pressure.”

He said he was happy to have qualified for the next event in Yunnan, which is a co-sanctioned event with the European Challenge Tour.

Hak Shun Yat from Hong Kong, China finished with a 3-under today, making his total score of minus 19 the highest among the Chinese golfers. He was nominated for the best Chinese Golfer of the event.

ProGolf Tour - Open Ocean

Benjamin Rusch won the Open Ocean in Morocco and is therefore celebrating his first win of the season. The 28-year old Scot Chris Robb (67+65+69/-12) was relegated to second place with 14 under par overall and rounds of 70, 62 and 67 strokes.

On the second day of the tournament, Rusch manages a flawless 62 where he played nine birdies on the par 71 course at Golf de L’Ocean, the best tournament round of his career. Third place was shared with 10 under par overall after 54 holes by the Moroccan local matador Yassine Touhami, the German Jonas Kölbing and Ross Cameron, another professional from Scotland.

ProGolf Tour - Open Tazegzout

Romain Bechu secured himself the trophy of the next-to-last Pro Golf Tour event in Morcco 2018, while the second and third rank is held by his fellow countrymen Stanislas Gautier and Franck Daux.

With a total 8 under par (68, 71, 69) Bechu finished one shot better than Gautier Gautier (69, 75, 65), who scored the best round of the tournament on the final day. German Fabian Becker finished as best German player by sharing the fourth rank with Scotsman Christopher Maclean and Mateusz Gradecki from Poland.