Sweden’s Robert Karlson won the Dubai World Championship , beating third-round leader Ian Poulter in a two-way playoff after a bizarre blunder by the Englishman on the final hole.
Karlsson calmly rolled in a birdie putt on the second playoff hole after Poulter had been given a one-stroke penalty for dropping his ball on his marker on the green, causing it to flip over and move from its original position.
Poulter spotted his error and reported it to the match referee, whose ruling left him with a long putt for par instead of a birdie. The putt came up a foot short, taking all the pressure off the Swede as he then had two shots to clinch the victory.
He needed just one to secure his second European Tour victory this year.
It was his third straight birdie on the 18th green, having caught up to Poulter on his last hole in regulation when his approach shot landed within a few feet of the pin. He rolled that in to close with a 5-under 67 and a 14-under total of 274.
Poulter then had a birdie putt for the victory at the 18th but missed to force the playoff, where both players birdied the first hole.
Karlsson led after the first round but followed it up with a 75 on Friday to seemingly fall out of contention. But he recovered with consecutive rounds of 67, and started Sunday with consecutive birdies. His second shot on the par-4 third then landed on the green and rolled in for an eagle.
He had two more birdies on the back nine before a lovely approach shot that almost hit the pin on the 18th, spun back and landed within a few feet of the hole
Martin Kaymer won the 2010 money-list crown on the final day of the season at the Dubai World Championship on Sunday.
The German, still out on the course, was guaranteed to land the prize of $1.5 million for topping the Race to Dubai when his only rival for the title, Graeme McDowell , finished down the field.
McDowell needed a top-three result to overhaul the German at the summit of the money list but could manage only a closing 68 for a six-under-par tally of 282.
IN OTHER NEWSNine of the top 10 players in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings will play in the season-ending LPGA Tour Championship next week.
As expected, Michelle Wie wasn’t on the commitment list released Tuesday by the LPGA. She’s the lone player among the top 10 who isn’t scheduled to play.
Wie withdrew from the Lorena Ochoa Invitational with back pain almost two weeks ago, but her appearance in the LPGA Tour Championship was uncertain even before that. She’s had a long-standing commitment to play in the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters the week after the LPGA Tour Championship. Omega’s one of her sponsors.
Rory McIlroy the 21-year-old that already said he'd spend most of the year in Europe next season avoiding the PGA Tour, dogged TPC Sawgrass and the Players, saying he didn't like the golf course and never feels comfortable there.
"I don't like the course," McIlroy said "It's a Pete Dye course. It creates angles, a bit like Whistling Straits," he said. " the tee boxes are sort of lining you up in the wrong direction. Visually it's very tough off the tee. It makes you feel uncomfortable because it looks like you've only got a little bit of fairway to hit but actually once you get up there, it's a little bit wider. It's just very demanding visually," added McIlroy.
The 2011 European Tour schedule will feature 50 golf tournaments—two more than this year—on 29 courses, with new events in Bahrain, Malaysia and Sicily.
The 2011 tour starts next month in South Africa and ends with the Dubai World Championship next December.
The European Tour said in a statement that from 2012 the schedule will be contained within the calendar year, starting in January and ending in December. The 2010 tour ends on Sunday.
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