Poulter and Johnson win Shootout

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Ian Poulter and Dustin Johnson shot a final round 13-under-par 59 to win the Shark Shootout in Florida.

Ian Poulter and Dustin Johnson shot a final round 13-under-par 59 to win the Shark Shootout in Florida on Sunday.

Playing a scramble format in Sunday’s final round, Poulter and Johhnson birdied seven of the first eight holes to race clear but then had to hold off a late charge from Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell before claiming a two-shot victory.

The 12 teams in the end-of season tournament hosted by Greg Norman at Tiburon Golf Club played modified alternate shot in the first round and better ball in the second and with a round to go Jerry Kelly and Steve Stricker were tied for the lead alongside veterans Fred Funk and Kenny Perry.

However, both pairings made slow starts, allowing Poulter and Johnson – rivals at the recent Ryder Cup – to come flying past and post a winning score of 30-under.

Poulter and Johnson shared $750,000 for the win and the Englishman said: “I figured playing with Darren and G-Mac they were gonna go at us pretty hard; they did. We made a lot of birdies today, hit a lot of good golf shots, holed a couple of good putts at just the right time, and it gave us a lot of momentum going into the back nine to make a few birdies to finish it off.”

Talking about how his partnership with Johnson came about, Poulter revealed: “I looked at a couple guys that had kind of committed, and Dustin was one that was thinking about it. I said, ‘Do you want to play, because I think we have a great chance if we do?’ He said yes, and here we are.”

Meanwhile Poulter’s short-game skills were praised by McDowell after the Northern Irishman just failed to add another victory to his memorable 2010 campaign.

“Ian is one of the best chippers of the ball in the world, and he was the man for the job,” McDowell said. “He was pretty clutch today. He played great.”

Kelly and Stricker, the defending champions, eventually tied for third at 26 under with Chris DiMarco and Anthony Kim while Funk and Perry slipped to tied fifth along with KJ Choi and Mike Weir, Jason Day and Rory Sabbatini and David Duval and Davis Love.

Tournament host Greg Norman was ninth in the company of Matt Kuchar while tied 10th and last were Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson, Justin Leonard and Scott Verplank and Mark Calcavecchia and Jeff Overton.

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