Poulter misses out on £352,000
Mon, 29 Nov 12:09:00 2010
A bizarre mistake from Ian Poulter dashed his chances of winning the Dubai World Championship play-off on Sunday and cost him the chance of winning an extra £352,000 in the process.
After 72 holes Poulter was level top of the leaderboard with Sweden's Robert Karlsson so the two went to a play-off.
Both had birdie fours on the first play-off hole before again making the green in three shots each as they replayed the hole.
Poulter, however, dramatically incurred a one-stroke penalty when he dropped his ball on to his coin, causing the marker to flip over. His 40-foot putt was therefore for a five rather than a four.
Poulter missed the putt, and with the pressure off, Karlsson was then able to make his birdie putt, which was just three feet away, to take the victory and the first prize of £776,686.
"I've gone to mark the ball and literally it slipped from two or three inches above the coin," Poulter said.
"It pitched right on the front of the coin; if it pitches in the middle it doesn't move and it's fine," said the 34-year-old Englishman who called over chief referee Andy McFee when the incident occurred.
"I had a fairly good idea (it meant a penalty) and obviously I needed to clarify it."
Asked how frustrating the incident was Poulter said: "About 20 world ranking points (23 actually), a lovely trophy and about $400,000 - that much frustrating.
"It's a shame it's just ended the way it has and it's not a consolation for me that Robert holed the putt in any case. It's a strange rule because if I had dropped the ball on the middle of the marker and it had not moved there's no penalty.
"But I should not drop my ball on it. It's been my lucky marker since the start of the year and has got my kids' names on. There are always positives, but right now I'm not seeing them."
European Tour Dubai Final
Karlsson added: "That was unfortunate for Ian in the play-off but I'm afraid you win some and you lose some.
"I didn't really like being up against Ian in the play-off, he's a feisty player with a great record and it (the one-shot penalty) made it a bit easier for me.
"The rules are there for a reason and some of them look very, very harsh," he said. "In some ways that's the purity of the game, we have very harsh rules and we actually follow them, compared to some other sports.
"That's the beauty of the game in one way but obviously it's not great when these sorts of things happen, especially under these circumstances."
The Dubai Championship offered £517,789 for the runner-up spot, but missing out on the extra cash for winning was not the only financial blow for Poulter.
If he had won he would have finished third rather than fourth in the European Tour money list and picked up a bonus of £466,012 instead of the £372,809 he did receive.Eurosport / Reuters