PGA Tour
Poulter gets first win in the U.S.



Marana, AZ (Sports Network) - Ian Poulter defeated fellow Englishman Paul Casey, 4 & 2, on Sunday to earn his first PGA Tour win and first win in the U.S. at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

Poulter now has nine wins on the European Tour, but he finally broke through with a title in America.

"It feels really, really nice," said Poulter, who pocketed $1,400,000 for the victory. "It's been a long time coming. I'm very happy. It was a good day's golf today."

For Casey, this was the second consecutive year he lost in the final. Geoff Ogilvy took him out in 2009 and this year, the title belonged to his Ryder Cup teammate.

"What can I say? Poulter played great," said Casey. "I think he kept it in play on every single hole, which is pretty impressive around here. And made a lot of clutch putts. He's putting very, very well."

Poulter built a 2-up lead after Sunday morning's 18, but it could've been more. He had a 4-up cushion at one point, but Casey got to 2-down with a win at the 15th. Casey's other victory came at the 18th when Poulter missed a seven-foot par save right before the lunch break.

Once the two returned to The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Poulter got back to winning holes. He took the first, or 19th hole, and won No. 20 with a six-foot birdie.

Poulter was 4-up, but Casey got one back with a long birdie putt at three. Unfortunately, Poulter answered next and cashed in on an eight-footer for birdie at four to get back to 4-up.

Both players won a hole before the turn keeping Poulter 4-up, but Casey staged a rally.

At the ninth, Poulter ran his birdie putt so far past the hole, it rolled yards back down the fairway. He made bogey and handed Casey the hole.

"I might have hit a couple of putts a little too hard," acknowledged Poulter.

One hole later, Casey drained an eight-foot birdie putt and now, with eight holes to go, he was 2-down. Poulter appeared to be in trouble long at the par- three 12th, but hit a spectacular chip shot to inches to halve the hole.

At the par-four 15th, Casey hit a good drive, but missed the green. Poulter hit it short and right, but nearly holed his pitch and settled for a conceded birdie. Casey had nine feet to halve the hole, but his putt lipped out.

Poulter was 3-up with three to go and played safe with his tee ball at the par-three 16th. He came up 40 feet short, but Casey knocked his shot into the bunker.

Poulter hammered another putt well past the cup, stopping 12 feet beyond the hole. Casey had an opening, but didn't take advantage. His bunker shot ran 15 feet by the hole and he missed the par putt.

Poulter had two putts to win the match and didn't need both. He ran home the par save to get his first win on the PGA Tour.

"I knew I was in great form coming into today," said Poulter. "I felt calm all day on the golf course. Nerves didn't play any factor at all. I played great. I'm very happy I won."

NOTES: Poulter became the first Englishman to win a World Golf Championships...The two finalists were Ryder Cup captain Nick Faldo's picks two years ago for the European team...Camilo Villegas won the third-place match over Sergio Garcia, 5 & 4...Next week, the PGA Tour heads to Phoenix and the European Tour is off, but returns in two weeks for the Malaysian Open.

02/21 18:50:38 ET