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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 February, 2005, 00:03 GMT
Poulter falls short at Match Play
Ian Poulter
Britain's Ian Poulter missed out on the WGC-Accenture Match Play final after a 3&2 defeat to American David Toms.

Poulter led three times early on but back-to-beak eagles on the ninth and 10th put Toms in control.

An eight-foot putt on the 16th sealed victory for the inspired Toms, who will play Ryder Cup team-mate Chris DiMarco in Sunday's final.

DiMarco recovered from three down to beat Retief Goosen, who meets Poulter in the third place play-off.

Goosen won the first three holes against DiMarco but having lost the seventh, then bizarrely conceded the next.

He hit his drive into a tree and though caddie Colin Byrne climbed up and found a ball, it was not Goosen's and the South African opted to concede rather than go back to the tee.

The momentum swung decidedly in DiMarco's favour and birdies at the 11th, 13th and 14th put him two up.

A bogey on the next reduced the American's lead but Goosen three-putted the 17th to lose.

I just re-focused and started to dial it in
David Toms

DiMarco said: "I was down three through three, that's not too good against Retief.

"I just tried to stay patient. I had about a six-footer on number five to stay only three down and I made it.

"That kind of calmed me down. With six holes to go it was all square."

Toms was also in trouble early on against Poulter but though he trailed three times, he came back to level on each occasion.

At the ninth, the American hit a fairway wood to within five feet of the ninth flag to nose in front for the first time.

He then pitched in for eagles at the next two holes to move three clear with seven to play.

"I went through a stretch there where I hit some great shots, two of them with five-woods, and I holed a nine-iron," said Toms.

"I think that stretch of nine, 10, 11, I just re-focused and started to dial it in.

I was doing OK until he went mad
Ian Poulter
"I just wanted to keep putting pressure on him, making him make birdies to catch up, and that's what I did."

Poulter fought back briefly by taking the short 12th but Toms recovered from hitting his drive into the rough on the 15th to claim victory.

The vanquished Poulter felt Toms' hot stretch at the turn was the difference.

"I was doing OK until he went mad," he said.

"He hit an unbelievable shot into the ninth to five feet, holed his second shot on the 10th, and made a gimme eagle on the next.

"I am very disappointed, but these things happen."

Poulter, who was the only European in the quarter-finals, had earlier beaten Australia's Nick O'Hern 3&1 while Toms saw off Adam Scott 2&1.

DiMarco edged Stewart Cink 2&1 to set up a tie with Goosen, who cruised past Robert Allenby 4&3.


Sunday tee-off times
All times GMT, seedings in brackets

Final (36 holes)
1530 and 1930: (16) Chris DiMarco (USA) v (14) David Toms

Third place play-off (18 holes) 1920: (4) Retief Goosen (Rsa) v (42) Ian Poulter (Gbr)



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