Poulter aims to be king in Hong Kong againNovember 30th, 2011 - 3:41 pm ICT by IANS
Hong Kong, Nov 30 (IANS) Title holder Ian Poulter is prepared for a tough defence at the $2.75 million UBS Hong Kong Open golf which starts Thursday.
The flamboyant Englishman won last year’s tournament with a spectacular 22-under-par 258 winning total, highlighted by a stunning 10-under-par 60 in the second round at the Hong Kong Golf Club.
But with the greens a touch firmer this week, Poulter is expecting birdies to be less accessible as he takes on a top-class field which includes world number two Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, current Asian Tour number one Juvic Pagunsan, Thongchai Jaidee and Jeev Milkha Singh.
“The golf course is in better condition this year than it actually was last year. It is in the best condition I have seen it to be honest,” enthused Poulter, who is an 11-time European Tour winner.
“I m going to say the greens are firmer and they are much faster, so to be honest, that actually takes it the other way. We all like quick greens and stuff, but the fact that they are quite firm, you won’t see the scoring quite as good. You can get a few putts that are going to run a little bit past the pin and you are going to have a really, really quick putt coming back.”
The world number 25 arrived in Hong Kong in top form after partnering Rose to tied second place at the Omega Mission Hills World Cup in China last week. A return to the bustling Hong Kong city has kept his adrenaline flowing as he searches for a second title of the year after winning the Volvo World Match Play earlier in the season.
The UBS Hong Kong Open, one of the most prestigious championships in Asia, is jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour. It is the penultimate event of the season for both Tours.
Other top names vying for the title include two-time Hong Kong Open winner Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain, 2010 champion Gregory Bourdy of France, Ryder Cup star Edoardo Molinari of Italy, countryman Matteo Manassero, who was last year’s runner-up, and three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington of Ireland.
- Magical Mcllroy wins Hong Kong Open golf - Dec 04, 2011
- Spain's Fernando-Castano wins Singapore Open - Nov 14, 2011
- Gangjee tied 5th in Singapore Open golf, Jeev shares 9th place - Nov 10, 2011
- Jeev shoots 67, finishes seventh in Hong Kong - Nov 21, 2010
- Chowrasia keen to wrest Asian No.1 at Hong Kong Open - Nov 29, 2011
- Hong Kong Open: Jeev tied sixth; Bhullar, Chowrasia tied 36th - Nov 20, 2010
- Jimenez turns the clock back, wins European Masters - Sep 06, 2010
- Chowrasia, Randhawa finish tied 22nd at Hong Kong - Nov 15, 2009
- Kapur best Indian at tied 13th, Manassero wins Malaysian Open - Apr 17, 2011
- Hero Indian Open: Glee for Gleeson Chiragh finishes second - Oct 16, 2011
- Kumar maintains lead at Hero Indian Open golf - Oct 14, 2011
- Jeev laments poor putting at Omega European Masters - Sep 03, 2010
- Randhawa tied 10th despite poor front half at Gleneagles - Aug 30, 2010
- Italy's Ryder Cup star Molinari top draw at Indian Open - Sep 21, 2011
- Jeev shoots 67, lies fifth at Hong Kong Open - Nov 19, 2010
Tags: asian tour, birdies, countryman, edoardo molinari, englishman, hong kong golf, hong kong golf club, ian poulter, jeev milkha singh, juvic pagunsan, matteo, miguel angel jimenez, omega mission, open golf, open winner, putts, rory mcilroy, ryder cup, ryder cup star, thongchai jaidee