One month after leading an improbable European rally in the Ryder Cup, Poulter won for the first time this year. He closed with 7-under 65 Sunday to come from four shots behind and win the HSBC Champions for his second career World Golf Championships title.
It won’t overshadow what he did at Medinah in the Ryder Cup. Even so, it was important to the Englishman that the year not pass without a victory of his own.
“I’ve only been one season without a victory and I certainly didn’t want to go another one,” Poulter said after his two-shot win at Mission Hills. “As well as I’ve played this year, it would have been a disappointment personally to have gone that year without winning.”
Phil Mickelson (68), Jason Dufner (64), Scott Piercy (65) and Ernie Els (67) tied for second. Lee Westwood and Louis Oosthuizen shared the 54-hole lead, but each shot 72 in the final round to tie for sixth.
CHAMPIONS TOUR: In Scottsdale, Ariz., Tom Lehman won the Charles Schwab Cup Championship on Sunday to become the first player to win the season points title two years in a row.
After shooting 68-63-62 to take a one-stroke lead into the final round, Lehman birdied four of the last five holes for 5-under 65 and a six-stroke victory.
He finished at 22-under 258 on Desert Mountain’s Cochise Course to break the tournament mark for lowest score and tie the record in relation to par set by John Cook in 2009 at Sonoma Golf Club in California.
Jay Haas shot 69 to finish second.
Augusta native Larry Mize shot 69 Sunday to finish with 275.
LPGA TOUR: In Shima, Japan, Stacy Lewis rallied to win the Mizuno Classic on Sunday for her LPGA Tour-leading fourth title of the year, birdieing the final three holes for an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke victory.
Lewis, seven strokes behind South Korea’s Lee Bo-mee entering the round, had 10 birdies and two bogeys to finish at 11-under 205 at Kintetsu Kashikojima.
“I don’t think I’ve ever come back from this far,” Lewis said. “I didn’t think the low numbers were out there until someone shot an 8 under yesterday. I just went out there today trying to make birdies and got 10 of them, which is pretty good.”
Lee shot a 72 to finish second.