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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 June, 2003, 17:41 GMT 18:41 UK
Poulter holds on for victory
Ian Poulter
Poulter celebrates his victory
Ian Poulter claimed his fourth European Tour title with victory in the 1.5m Wales Open at Celtic Manor.

The Englishman survived a late stumble for the second day in succession to card a final round 70 for an 18-under par total of 270 and the 250,000 first prize.

Jonathan Lomas, Australian Jarrod Moseley and South African Darren Fichardt shared second place three shots behind on 15 under.

Moseley's bogey on the 18th cost him outright second and 55,000.

The fans hoping to see local favourite Phil Price secure a home victory left disappointed after the Ryder Cup hero faded to a closing 74 to finish six shots adrift.

"I'm back," said a delighted Poulter after claiming his prize.

"I've missed a few cuts but these things take time. It's all been worthwhile and it definitely paid off today.

"I saw what was happening to Jarrod up ahead and I knew what I had to do."

Poulter, battling a bout of tonsillitis all week, was in control from the moment he equalled the course record with a 65 in the first round, a record subsequently beaten by Moseley's 63 on Saturday.

The victory moves the 27-year-old from Milton Keynes into the top 15 in the Order of Merit and maintains his record of winning a tournament every year since 2000.

FINAL ROUND SCORES
18 under: Ian Poulter
15 under: Darren Fichardt (Rsa), Jonathan Lomas, Jarrod Moseley (Aus)
13 under: Mark McNulty Andrew Coltart
12 under: Santiago Luna (Spa), Peter Fowler (Aus), Phillip Price

Poulter began the day two shots clear of Price and extended his cushion to three with a birdie on the second after a superb chip from just off the green.

Cheered on by the home crowd, Price hit back with birdies on the third and fifth to close the gap to one, but a bogey on the next gave Poulter breathing space again.

Price also bogeyed the eighth and was replaced as Poulter's main challenger by Moseley, who picked up shots at the third, fifth and sixth to lie two shots back.

Moseley then briefly reduced his deficit to one with a birdie on the 11th only for Poulter to go one better in the group behind with a 60-foot eagle - the only one at the hole all week.

Poulter had been six shots clear after 13 holes of the third round only to drop four shots in the next three holes, and he struggled through the same stretch again in his final round.

He bogeyed the 15th after finding a greenside bunker and dropped another shot at the next.

That cut his lead back to one, but when Moseley found trouble off the tee on the last and could only bogey, Poulter's birdie was simply the icing on the cake.




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Sport's Norman Dabell
"Poulter was on top from start to finish"


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