Ian Poulter wins Australian Masters in Melbourne

Ian Poulter has now won 15 times as a professional
Poulter has now won 15 times as a professional

England's Ian Poulter overhauled home hero Geoff Ogilvy to clinch the Australian Masters title in Melbourne.

Poulter, 35, trailed Ogilvy by two strokes overnight but hit a final-round 67 to win by three shots at 15 under.

Ogilvy slipped back with a 73 to end 11 under behind Marcus Fraser (64) and Peter Senior (70), while world number one Luke Donald shot 72 for four under.

Poulter, ranked 28th in the world, won the last of his 14 previous titles at the Volvo World Match Play in May.

On a windy day at the Victoria Golf Club, Poulter erased 2006 US Open champion Ogilvy's lead on the first hole with an eagle two and then birdied the seventh and ninth for a two-shot lead.

Ogilvy, who had equalled the course record on his boyhood track with an eight-under 63 in the third round, struggled to get any momentum going on Sunday and carded 12 straight pars before bogeys at the 13th and 15th and a double bogey at the 17th derailed his challenge.

Poulter swapped another birdie on the par-three 16th with a dropped shot at the long 17th, but by then he had enough of a buffer despite Fraser finishing his blistering round with two birdies.

"To come down here the week before Christmas and to win this tournament is very special," he said. "I had a message from [former champion] Justin Rose who said, 'Put a nice gold jacket in your wardrobe like I have,' and it's nice to do that."

The Florida-based Poulter, who battled food poisoning on Friday, added: "I love being in contention, that's why I play this game of golf. If you're down the field there's no adrenalin, there's no excitement, there's no real interest.

"So that's why I practise hard to put myself in this position to enjoy the fact of being under pressure because you find out who you are."

Donald, who won both the European and US money lists this season, had four birdies on the front nine to move up to fifth place, but followed with four bogeys on the back nine to finish shared 12th.

Poulter beat Donald 2&1 in the final of the Volvo World Match Play in Spain and won twice in 2010, capturing the Hong Kong Open in November and defeating another Englishman, Paul Casey, to win the WGC-Match Play Championship in Arizona in February.

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