Poulter Guts Out a Must-Win to Qualify
by: Michael Tula (BTP Sports)
April 1st, 2018
Humble, TX — Going into the 4th round of the Houston Open, Ian Poulter was atop the leaderboard with -14. After a less than stellar Round 1 (74), he had a bogie-free 2nd & 3rd round with scores of 64 and 65 respectively.
“I was frustrated with my play on Thursday…I started to visually see the right line…and continued
that obviously into today,” said Poulter after his round 3 finish.
It was quite a week for Ian Poulter. After reaching the quarterfinals the weekend prior at the Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Poulter was mistakenly informed that he cracked the top 50 — which was enough to ensure his spot in the Masters. It wasn’t until moments before teeing off when officials updated Poulter that he needed to win his semifinal match to qualify — something he failed to do as Kevin Kisner edged him out.
That made his incredible turnaround at the Houston Open much more memorable and Poulter rode his hot streak through the final round. Poulter sunk a 20-foot on the 18th hole to finish -19 and force a playoff with Beau Hossler. Hossler got hot himself on the final day as he strung together four consecutive birdies on the back nine and could have sealed a win if he made a 30 foot birdie putt on hole 18.
Hossler fell off in the playoff as he landed on the right-side bunker before hitting his third shot into the water. This set the stage for Poulter to seal the win and qualify for the final spot on the Masters. It was Poulter’s 3rd victory on the PGA TOUR.
Jordan Spieth (who was runner up in 2015) tied for 3rd alongside Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo at -16. 2015 Shell Houston Open winner JB Holmes finished at -9.