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Singapore: World number 16 Ian Poulter will defend his title at the US$6 million Barclays Singapore Open next month, organisers confirmed today.

The flamboyant Poulter became the first Englishman to win the tournament in its storied 46-year history with a one-stroke victory over China’s Liang Wen-chong at Sentosa Golf Club last year.

The Barclays Singapore Open is jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.

Poulter will come into the event still on a high after his heroics at the Ryder Cup where he secured three points for the European team in their dramatic triumph over the United States.

He joins a star-studded field chasing the record-high first prize of US$1 million in the joint richest event on the European Tour outside of the Majors and the World Golf Championships.

The four Major champions of 2010, including Poulter’s Ryder Cup teammates Graeme McDowell and Martin Kaymer, are confirmed starters in what promises to be a blockbuster tournament from November 11-14.

Ulsterman McDowell, the US Open champion, and Germany’s Kaymer, who beat Bubba Watson in a playoff to win the US PGA Championship, will be joined in the elite line-up by Masters champion Phil Mickelson and Open Championship winner Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa.

Three-time Major champion Padraig Harrington, a European Ryder Cup colleague of Poulter, McDowell and Kaymer, Asia’s first Major winner Y.E. Yang of Korea and Australia’s Adam Scott, back-to-back Singapore Open winner in 2005 and 2006, will also play what is widely regarded as “Asia’s Major”.

Irishman Harrington, joint runner-up at the 2008 Barclays Singapore Open,  is bang in form after his three-stroke victory at the Iskandar Johor Open at the weekend.

“It is terrific news that Ian Poulter, a big crowd favourite, will be returning to Sentosa Golf Club to defend his Barclays Singapore Open title,” said Robert Morrice, Chairman & CEO Asia Pacific, Barclays PLC.

“His win last year is still fresh in the memory and given his form in the Ryder Cup I am sure he will be challenging for the trophy again this time.”

Poulter has had a good season on both the US PGA and European Tours having made a fast start with victory at the WGC-Accenture Matchplay Championship in February where he beat countryman Paul Casey 4 and 2 in the final.

He showed his matchplay prowess again at the Ryder Cup where he topped off a great week with a 5 and 4 win over Matt Kuchar in the singles.

The Englishman, known for his sartorial style, is currently ninth on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai with winnings of just under 1.5 million euros having finished 39th in the FedExCup standings in the United States.

For the second year running the Barclays Singapore Open will be joint-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and The European Tour and for the first time a field of 204 players will compete on both The Serapong and The Tanjong Courses.

Asian Tour 

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