Poulter Celebrates In Last Chance Saloon
There was a twinkle in the eye of Ian Poulter at the start of Volvo Masters week and by the end it was a glittering galaxy as he became victor in Valderrama.
What a fantastic achievement for the Englishman as he took his last opportunity to extend a record which has now seen him win in each of the last five seasons on the European Tour.
It was a run he was determined to extend and the rewards were enormous as he moved into the world’s top 50 and guaranteed entry into next year’s majors as well as the chance to claim a US Tour card if he wants one.
We could have as many as four players competing more often in America next year because Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood and David Howell have all signalled their intention to go west.
Clarkey has been a member this year and played just the minimum 15 events. For him to qualify for the season-ending Tour Championship from so few starts was another huge achievement.
It may be difficult to comprehend because the Ulsterman has not visited the winner’s circle this season, but he has amassed almost $2million in prize money over there.
Another who seems likely to gravitate towards America eventually is Graeme McDowell, who has had an outstanding season in Europe - heading our team of five in the money list’s top 10.
Although still just outside the world’s top 50, Graeme looks certain to become a familiar face at all the top events as does Howeller, who really has made the step up to the next level this season.
Along with rookie-of-the-year Scott Drummond, Howler and Graeme have claims to being the most improved in Europe and I expect them to move on to bigger and better next season.
The future’s bright and it may well be orange… because that’s just about the only colour Poults has not had his hair dyed this season.