Race to Dubai runner-up Poulter hails Stenson's brilliance
After a stunning six-under round, all Ian Poulter could do was wave the white flag. Or towel, in this case.
The Englishman finished runner- up in the DP World Championship and second in the Race to Dubai, leaving him wondering what he could possibly have done to catch Henrik Stenson, who romped to victory and with it top spot in the money list.
“He’s beat me fair and square, I don’t know what juice he’s drinking at the moment but I want some of that,” joked Poulter.
“He’s in phenomenal form and you have to respect it. He has had to work incredibly hard to get from where he was to the position he’s in today. It’s really impressive, I’m very pleased for him.
“You’re witnessing the best golfer on the planet, for sure.”
Sometimes, a player’s best just isn’t good enough and Poulter cut a slightly frustrated figure – someone who hit a brick wall in trying to overcome the indomitable Swede.
But he was sport enough to dry Stenson off with the white towel he was carrying, after the Swede was drenched in water amid his celebrations on the 18th green.
“It’s always fun when you have a bit of banter and joke with the lads,” Poulter added. “It’s been good fun and it maybe inspired us a bit. Stenson’s played exceptional golf, flawless to be honest, and could have been better. He is the hottest guy on the planet right now, all credit to him.”
After a disappointing bogey at the first, Poulter launched into a near flawless round, claiming three birdies on the front nine before another four on his way into the clubhouse, including two on the final two holes.
When Poulter birdied the 13th, minds switched to his incredible five birdies in a row run at the Ryder Cup and Rory McIlroy’s similar feat at this tournament a year ago.
Two of the last five were birdied but such was Stenson’s dominance that even all five wouldn’t have prevented defeat. Poulter even admitted he knew that at the time.
“Henrik hadn’t made a mistake all week. So, when I was back [on the 14th] I thought ‘is he going to make a mistake? Probably not’.
“I just wanted to make sure I got into the house in second place and put some valuable Ryder Cup points on the board and it’ll be turkey on the table for Christmas.”