Victorious Ian Poulter still surfing Ryder Cup wave


Ian Poulter has climbed from 26th place to 15th in the world after his two-shot victory at the HSBC Champions in China. It was his first solo win since the Australian Masters last December, but came in only his second appearance after winning all his four games in Europe's outstanding Ryder Cup triumph in Chicago.

The top six remain the same – Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods did not play – but joint-runner-up Jason Dufner improves from 10th to seventh.

McIlroy was quick to congratulate his Ryder Cup team-mate, who earned £743,000 for his week's work. "Ballsy up and down at the last," said the Northern Irishman on Twitter. "Wouldn't expect anything less!"

Poulter added: "It still doesn't give you the same kind of buzz you get playing the Ryder Cup. There's just not quite as much adrenalin in the body. I definitely think it is a part continuation of the Ryder Cup and I'm obviously riding that wave as much as I possibly can. After two days I felt I was probably too far back ... but anything is possible on this course once you get the putter warm, and it is hard to close out tournaments sometimes.

"Winning the HSBC Championship, which will become an official PGA Tour event next year, is great, of course, but a major remains the biggest dream.

"People keep asking me all the time, 'when, when, when?' I don't know when and I'm trying really hard – I'll do my best next year."

Poulter will be joined at the first major of the year, the US Masters, by China's Guan Tianlang who is poised to become the youngest golfer to play at the major after the 14-year-old won the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Thailand yesterday.

Guan earned his invitation to the 2013 Masters at Augusta after firing an even-par 71 to win by one stroke from Taiwan's Pan Chung-Tseng at Amata Spring Country Club.

When Guan tees it up at Augusta in April, he will beat the previous age record set by Italy's Matteo Manassero, who was 16 when he played in 2010.