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Ian Poulter wins WGC Match Play Championship

Ian Poulter beat Paul Casey 4 and 2 in an all-English final to win the Accenture Match Play Championship on Sunday, earning a long-awaited first victory in the United States.

Poulter's 10th victory globally was also his first in an elite World Golf Championships event and will see him jump to fifth in the world golf rankings.

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"I would say my short game this week?s been as good as it has ever been and I putted very, very well," said Poulter, who collected 1.4 million dollars.

"I?m just so happy to finally win on American soil," added Poulter, who is perhaps known by US golf spectators for his flashy clothing as well as his game.

"We (British) get asked all the time 'when are you guys going to win?' So we get a lot of pressure put on ourselves and we put even more pressure on ourselves as professionals.

"With nine holes to play in previous wins I?ll admit I?ve been nervous and excited, but today I just felt calm and felt I could deliver whatever I needed to deliver."

Poulter deserved his win after outplaying Casey for most of the 36-hole final.

Poulter trailed only once, after the second hole, but he took the lead for good at the seventh and was 2-up after 18 holes.

Casey never got closer than that during the afternoon round, although the quality of his golf improved.

Perhaps he was mentally drained after taking six extra holes to beat Camilo Villegas in the semi-finals.

Their match was halted by darkness on Saturday night and they resumed at 7:10 a.m. on Sunday.

Casey needed just one more hole to beat Villegas, but the effort left him flat for much of the final.

"I was amazed they were on the course three hours after I finished," said Poulter, who was tweeting from his hotel on Saturday evening as Casey and Villegas labored on.

"It was nice I could sit back and relax while they were still working hard and that might be one of the factors why I?ve come through today."

Casey finished runner-up for the second consecutive year, after falling to Australian Geoff Ogilvy in last year's final.

He admitted he was mentally tired.

"But I'm not going to make excuses," he said. "There were a lot of shots I wanted to pull off and I didn?t.

"He did a fantastic job of making putts and keeping the ball in play and kept the pressure on. I think he kept it in play on every single hole around here, which is pretty impressive."

In the 18-hole consolation final, Colombia's Villegas beat Spaniard Sergio Garcia 5 and 4 to finish third in the event.

While Poulter had plenty to celebrate, he said he would put the festivities on hold since had an early wake up call to film a television commercial on Monday.

"I can?t see myself having too many drinks tonight because I might wake up with a sore head tomorrow," he said.

 
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