Ian Poulter made the perfect start to his bid to secure a third Ryder Cup appearance with a battling one-stroke victory in the Singapore Open. After a six-week break he is embarking on a seven-week stretch of highly lucrative events, including Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Dubai, which could go a long way to securing a place in Colin Montgomerie's team at Celtic Manor next year.
After posting a second consecutive one-over-par 72 here to complete a wire-to-wire victory by edging out China's Liang Wen-chong, Poulter has moved up to fourth in the Ryder Cup standings.
In claiming his first title since the Dunlop Phoenix in 2007 and first on the European Tour since Madrid the previous year, the 33-year-old will also move into the top 15 in the Race to Dubai, and has his sights firmly set on leading trio Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy.
"It's great to win but there is more to winning right now," Poulter said. "It is the right time to win as the Ryder Cup points have now started and I wanted to come out over the next seven weeks – five of which are counting for world ranking points and Ryder Cup points – and put as much money on the board as I possibly could."
Poulter led by five at the halfway mark of the weather-interrupted event after following up an opening 66 with a 64. He saw that lead erased after just six holes of his third round and then trailed with six holes of his final round to play, but strode up onto the final green with a one-shot lead.