European Tour

Poulter 'disgusted' after exit

2013-05-17 21:01
Ian Poulter (AFP Photo)

Kaverna - Ryder Cup winning hero Ian Poulter was livid with himself after being knocked out of the Volvo World Match-Play Championship in Bulgaria on Friday

Poulter, the winner two years ago, lost both his round robin matches - following up Thursday's reverse to Thongchai Jaidee with defeat to South African Thomas Aiken, ranked 87 places lower on the World Rankings than the No. 15 ranked Englishman.

Poulter, winner as well of the 2010 WGC - Accenture World Match Play title and a player who has never lost a Ryder Cup singles match in his four appearances, had little answer to Aiken who won the first two holes with birdies and from then on was never headed.

Aiken went 2up after birding the first two holes and while Poulter got back to all square at the ninth, the South African won the 10th and 12th holes before losing 15 and 16 to Poulter birdies.

However Poulter missed the fairway at the last sending his drive down the adjoining fourth hole and while finding the back of the green with his second he walked off with a bogey to Aiken's par.

"I have no excuses," said Poulter after arriving in Bulgaria having missed the cut in his past two events, the Players Championship and the Masters.

"There is no excuse for that display of golf over the last two days. It's disgusting, disgraceful and there's no explanation. I should have been able to finish the match off.

"My concentration was simply not there and therefore you make mental errors when you have not used your brain. It's completely unacceptable."

When asked what was next on his agenda, Poulter responded: "The tallest tree with the shortest rope. I am pissed off. I will stay pissed off for a couple of hours and then get to England and win at Wentworth (venue for next week's BMW PGA Championship)."

Aiken had lost his morning match to Thailand's Thongchai while Poulter had lost a day before also to Thongchai but now goes through to the final 16.

"I had two tough matches today with Thongchai this morning and then Ian this afternoon, so it's been a tiring day but I'm just so pleased to get through to the next round," said Aiken.

Three players - Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee, Italy's Francesco Molinari, Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Scotland's Scott Jamieson - were the only players in the 24-player field to win both their round robin matches.

Fernandez-Castano continued his superb season having defeated Welshman Jamie Donaldson on day one and then accounted for Australia's Brett Rumford on day two handing the recent back-to-back Tour winner a 3&2 defeat.

"It was quite a relaxed match and you could feel Brett was a little tired after playing this morning," said the Spaniard.

"So overall, I am happy with the result and with my two victories."

Despite the loss, Rumford kept alive hopes of becoming the first player since Seve Ballesteros in 1986 to win three successive European Tour events after finishing second in his group.

Defending champion, Nicolas Colsaerts avoided a play-off when Thailand's Kiradeck Aphibarnrat bogeyed the last to leave the reigning Malaysian Open champion all square in his match with South African Branden Grace.

Had the Thai golfer parred the final hole it would have meant all three players involved in a sudden death play-off.

There was just one play-off to decide the final 16 with Ireland's Shane Lowry, Sweden's Peter Hanson and South African George Coetzee playing two extra holes after all three ended the round robin stages with two points.

Lowry then holed an eight-foot putt for birdie at the second extra hole to finish first in the group while Hanson also won through to the last 16 with a par while Coetzee was eliminated on the same hole with a bogey.

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