Poulter back in world top 10 but there's no final fling

 

Revenge was sweet – almost £965,000 sweet – for Matt Kuchar yesterday when he beat defending champion Hunter Mahan to win the Accenture Match Play title in cold and windy Arizona. Crushed 6&5 by his fellow American in last year's quarter-finals, Kuchar captured his first world championship by a 2&1 margin.

England's Ian Poulter, meanwhile, had to settle for fourth place, but is at least back in the world's top 10 for the first time in 25 months.

Europe's Ryder Cup hero failed to claim the trophy for the second time in four years after losing 4&3 to Mahan in the semi-finals, then he went down to a last-green defeat at the hands of the Australian Jason Day.

Mahan had not trailed all week until he bogeyed the fourth hole of the final, but by the turn was four down. Kuchar lost the 10th and 11th before holing what appeared a crucial 12-foot birdie putt at the next after Mahan had fired in his tee shot to four feet. It was halved in two.

Kuchar also birdied the long 13th, only for Mahan to strike back in kind on the next. They shared the driveable 15th in birdies, but Kuchar fired his tee shot to the short 16th into the grandstand and was only one up. Both bunkered their drives off the next, but Mahan found much the worse lie and could not recover.

Poulter had been trying to make it back-to-back World Golf Championship victories after his triumph at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai last November.

He had beaten Stephen Gallacher, Bo Van Pelt, Tim Clark and Steve Stricker to reach the last four, but an inspired 20-yard chip-in by Mahan from over the short 12th proved the decisive moment.

Day looked less interested in the consolation game than Poulter when he fired wildly into the desert on three of the first four holes, but he salvaged a half on one of them and then turned things round.

Poulter bogeyed the seventh, ninth and 12th and could not match his opponent's birdie at the long eighth. Another bogey came on the 14th to leave him three down, but Poulter's pars took the 16th and 17th before Day got up and down from a bunker at the last. He earned £395,000 to Poulter's £321,000.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...