In a weather-disrupted weekend at the Honda Classic Ian Poulter held a three-shot lead going in to his last round, but sinking his ball in to the water no less than five times during his final round cost him in his title challenge.
Alongside Poulter, 4 other Brits finished in the top seven. Paul Casey kicked on from his second place finish last week to finish tied for third this week with Poulter and Scotsman Russell Knox on five-under a shot behind the winner Padraig Harrington. Casey shared the overnight lead with his fellow country man going into the fifth day, shooting a front nine score of four-under before close of play Sunday. unfortunately he could not replicate that form on the Monday, with a back-nine score of plus-one.
The Welsh were well represented in Jamie Donaldson, finishing a shot behind Casey and company, Luke Donald made up the five Brits shooting a last round of three-under-par, ending up three shots short of the lead.
The weather certainly played its part through the week, with high winds on the first day, and early evening darkness on the Friday. The worst however was on the Saturday, most players did not even get out on to the first tee before the storms came in, flooding the golf complex under two-feet of water and making the majority of the course look like one giant lake.
Poulter shot a first round of one-over, but made his move on the second day with a round of 64, six under-par, putting himself in with a good chance over the weekend. Saturday, came and went without a hole being played due to the weather, but the Englishman came out Sunday morning and cemented his place at the top making four birdies and didn’t drop a shot. The tournaments organisers were keen to start the fourth round straight after the third, Poulter made par on the first four holes, but then his game went to pot! He shanked his tee shot far right on the fifth, finding water for the first time, dropping his first shot in 25 holes, a two of them at that.
He followed up that double with another drive that found a lake, bogey was the result this, the Poulter that we had seen over the last two days had disappeared. He soon bounced back making a birdie on his last hole of the weekend, the seventh.
Monday came around, Poults made a signal of intent straight away, birdie! He looked as if he had steadied the sinking ship of the weekend, but then found the water again on 11, leaving his second shot short resulting in another wet ball and a double-bogey.
The fourteenth hole was where his title challenge was all but gone, he found the water with his drive, and then clattered a palm tree with his third straight back in to the drink, resulting in a triple-bogey. He made consecutive birdies on the 17th and 18th but it was not enough to save his title challenge.
Poulter and the rest of the Brits will be looking to the first World Golf Championship of the year next week we look forward to seeing each one of the world’s top 50 in action.
The PGA Tour travels to Puerto Rico, a chance for some of the lower ranked players to gain some FedEx Cup points whilst the big boys play in Miami, at Doral.