WRAPUP 1-Golf-Karlsson beats Poulter in bizarre Dubai climax

Reuters

Sun, 28 Nov 15:35:00 2010

* Swede picks up 11th victory after playoff

* Poulter drops ball on marker and incurs costly penalty

* German Kaymer wraps up money-list crown

Robert Karlsson extended his record as the most prolific Swedish winner on the European Tour when he beat Britain's Ian Poulter in bizarre style in their Dubai World Championship playoff on Sunday.

New European number one Martin Kaymer also landed a cheque for $1.5 million after wrapping up his first money-list title.

The German finished well clear of closest rival Graeme McDowell after the pair tied for 13th place in the season-ender.

Karlsson and Poulter had birdie fours on the first playoff hole and both players again made the green in three at the next attempt.

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 but he missed anyway and Karlsson rolled in his birdie effort from three feet to secure his 11th European victory and a first prize of $1.26 million.

"I've gone to mark the ball and literally it slipped from two or three inches above the coin," Poulter told reporters.

"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," added Poulter after confirming the incident had never happened to him before.

The world number 11 was bidding for his second victory in succession after landing the Hong Kong Open title last weekend.

Sunday's incident cost him around $407,000 in prize money alone but he still won a cool $812,400.

Earlier, Karlsson had shot a 67 to finish on 274 before overnight leader Poulter (70) joined him on 14-under-par.

"That was unfortunate for Ian in the playoff but I'm afraid you win some and you lose some," said the 41-year-old Swede.

"I didn't really like being up against Ian in the playoff, he's a feisty player with a great record and it (the one-shot penalty) made it a bit easier for me."

"HARSH" RULE

Karlsson said Poulter was unlucky to fall foul of a particularly peculiar regulation.

"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."

Karlsson made a brilliant start to his round with birdies at the first two holes and an eagle two at the third when his eight-iron from 172 yards landed 20 feet short before gently rolling into the cup.

"It just sort of popped over the hill and started running towards the hole," said the 2008 European number one. "I probably walked 30 or 40 yards, heard the crowd cheering and saw it disappear -- that was great.

"It has been a fantastic field this week and when we have all of the best players in Europe together, to win is fantastic," added Qatar Masters champion Karlsson after notching his second victory of the season. World number one Lee Westwood (68) shared third spot on 275 with Spain's Alvaro Quiros (67).

Briton Rory McIlroy produced a swashbuckling finish, two birdies and an eagle in the last five holes giving him a 67 for 276 and fifth position.

Ignacio Garrido (70) used a seven-iron to record a hole-in-one at the sixth as the Spaniard finished tied for 41st on 290.

It was the second ace of the week at the 186-yard par-three hole, following one by South African Charl Schwartzel on Thursday.

 

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