Poulter defeats Casey to win World Match Play title
Poulter becomes only the seventh Englishman to win an American tour event
Ian Poulter secured his first victory on American soil after edging out compatriot Paul Casey 4&2 in the WGC-Accenture Match Play final in Arizona.
Poulter made the stronger start and was 4up after 14 holes before Casey reduced the deficit to two at the half-way stage on the 36-hole final.
But, after regaining a 4up lead early on in the final 18, Poulter saw the lead reduced to 2up on the 28th hole.
A missed Casey putt on the 32nd proved crucial as Poulter held on to win.
The victory, which earns Poulter a mammoth $1,400,000 (£907,113), also sees him move up to fifth in the world rankings, while Casey, who collected a cheque for $850,000 (£550,665), slots in one place behind his Ryder Cup team-mate in sixth.
It was the second successive defeat in the Match Play final for Casey, who lost to Australian Geoff Ogilvy at Ritz-Carlton club in Arizona last year.
"To win this golf tournament is mega for me," a delighted Poulter, clad in an eye-catching all-pink outfit for the final, told BBC Radio 5 live. "I'm so, so, so happy.
"It means number five in the world, it means all the hard work, the hours, the gym work... it makes it all the more pleasing to be able to go out on this bigger stage against the best players in the world and pull a win off in this fashion."
Poulter, who is the first Englishman to win the event, added: "It's been a long time coming. It was a good day's golf. I knew I was in great form and I felt calm all day - nerves didn't play any factor at all.
"I know Paul's disappointed being runner-up two years in a row."
Camilo Villegas cruised to a comfortable 5&4 victory over a lacklustre Sergio Garcia to claim third place.
The Colombian had been involved in an early-morning start alongside Casey to resume their tense semi-final play-off which was suspended on Saturday night because of fading light.
The pair returned to the 10th hole, which Casey won with a confident par to set up an intriguing all-English finale against Poulter.
The 34-year-old from Hertfordshire had been in excellent form throughout the competition and had trailed for only one hole over the final 50 holes of the tournament.
That came after the second hole when Casey sent a 216-yard approach to eight feet at the par-five to sink the putt for an eagle.
But Poulter took control from the seventh hole, quickly moving to 2up before doubling that lead at the 14th.
However, Casey responded well on the last four holes of the first 18, hitting back to reduce the deficit to 2up at the half-way mark.
But a poor start after the interval from Casey saw Poulter take advantage, using his red-hot putter to sink successive birdies to resume his lead at 4up.
Casey hit back once again, carding successive birdies on the 27th and 28th holes to set up an intriguing finish.
But he missed a golden opportunity to close the gap to 1up when he misdirected an eight-foot putt after Poulter faltered.
And his opponent took full advantage with a birdie at the 33rd before clinching the title at the 34th.
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