Poulter eyes grandstand finish

A victory for Ian Poulter at the DP World Tour Championship could see him finish as Europe’s number one.

Poulter currently lies fourth in the Race to Dubai, behind leader Henrik Stenson, Graeme McDowell and Justin Rose, but should he win the European Tour’s season finale in Dubai this week, he would top the list unless Stenson finishes second.

The Englishman seems to have found a rich vein of form at just the right time, finishing 15th, second and fifth in the first three events of the inaugural Final Series, and a victory this week would certainly put the icing on the cake.

“It would mean a lot,” said Poulter. “I think the year has been disappointing but I guess I’m slowly turning that round at the back end of the year, which I have done a few times before.

“If I could win this week and win the Race to Dubai that would be a huge achievement for myself as a personal goal. That’s something that every player wants to do.

“I’ve always done well under pressure, like my school report and school work. I never handed it in until the last minute. I always produced my best at the last minute. It’s too easy early in the season isn’t it?”

Poulter has done well at the Dubai finale before, getting into a play-off with Robert Karlsson in 2010 before incurring a one-shot penalty for dropping his ball on his marker, so it’s a course he feels he can do well on.

“I’m pretty confident for this week and fancy my chances,” he added. “I love the golf course. I’ve played it really well in the past, apart from a Tiddlywink incident on the play-off hole!”

The Tour finale in Dubai is meant to feature the top 60 on the Race to Dubai, but the likes of Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia and Charl Schwartzel are all absent after failing to comply with a European Tour regulation which states players must play in two of the three previous events to qualify.

Els has voiced his displeasure with the regulation and Poulter added: “The rule was put in place; they may have got it slightly wrong. It’s difficult sometimes to be able to play enough events everywhere to keep everybody happy.

“It would be nice to have Ernie, Sergio and Charl in the field and I’m sure that will be looked at and addressed. Everybody makes mistakes. I think it’s a mistake that won’t be made again. I think it will change for next year.”