As another year draws to a close, Ian Poulter arrives back at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship targeting a first win since the 2017 Houston Open as he looks to build on his two runner-up finishes at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
The Ryder Cup star has fond memories of the European Tour’s finale and has only missed one edition of the World Tour Championship since its inception, when he was injured in 2016, while his two runner-up finishes came in 2010 and 2013.
“I’ve played very nicely here in the past and, obviously, the whole region and golf has grown enormously over the last ten years, even from the point when I first started playing here around 20 years ago,” said Poulter, who became a Global Ambassador for DP World in May this year.
“For me, this has always been a great event and it’s meant that little bit more from a personal perspective as I’ve had the pleasure of family and friends coming out to follow me every year – just to watch me play. It’s a big finale to the year for me at a tournament where I’ve been successful, and one I like to play. It means a lot. It’s a special week. Hopefully, I can play well and hopefully, get my hands on the title.”
Aside from strong performances at the DP World Tour Championship, the Englishman enjoyed a good start to his season on the Middle East Swing earlier this year as he posted top tens at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA, the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and the Saudi International powered by SBIA.
“It would mean a lot to win here,” he said. “I started this season well and I’ve played consistently through the year. I had a bit of a break last month so if I can come out of that playing well and have a strong end to the year it would be fantastic. Nothing would please me more than doing it at the DP World Tour Championship.”
Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy got the perfect preparation for the tournament as he led his DP World team to victory in the morning Rolex Pro-Am over the Earth course. McIlroy, Ashish Bhutani, Hardeep Singh and Avinash Pangarkar posted an impressive team total of 31 under par to secure victory. Along with DP World, many other key sponsors of the European Tour and DP World Tour Championship were present including Rolex, Emirates, BMW, Falcon, Atlantis, Falcon and Zurich.
“It has been a great Pro-Am,” said two-time DP World Tour Championship winner McIlroy. “It is a wonderful tournament to finish off the European Tour season and I want to thank DP World especially for the title sponsorship and also Rolex for what they do for the European Tour. If I can play like I did today for the four tournament days then I’ve got a decent chance of getting my hands on the trophy for a third time.”
Junior Luckiest Ball on Earth Presented by Zurich winner, Hannah Cheryl Alan, also walked away with a trophy as she secured the Ladies Nearest the Pin.
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