It does not suprise me that Ian Poulter won the Accenture World Golf Championships Match Play Event for 2010. Because Ian plays on both the European Tour and the American PGA Tour, he splits time and does not play in as many events on either tour compared to players dedicated to one tour or the other. While Ian has won on the European Tour, this win in the World Match Play is his first win in an official PGA Tour Event.
In 2009 Ian ranked 4th in Scrambling Percentage (Up and Downs) getting up and down 65.14% of the time, he also ranked 7th on the PGA Tour in Putting with only 28.18 putts per round. In 2009 he ranked 25th on the PGA Tour Money List playing in only 17 PGA Tour Events. Ian is 32 years old and is listed by the PGA Tour as 6'1" tall and 189lbs.
This helps to establish my theory once again that when you get your Driving and Full Swing to an advanced level, what will get you to the Elite Level of Winning the Championship Flight in your Club Championship or Winning The Accenture World Golf Championship, will be your short game.
With some of the amazing up and downs that Ian had today, it's no wonder that he's been quoted saying he devotes at least half of his practice time to his short game.
As of the Match Play, here are the current World Rankings ... previous to the World Match Play, Ian Poulter was ranked 11th and Paul Casey was ranked 7th.
1 Tiger Woods, USA 12.60
2 Steve Stricker, USA 7.93
3 Phil Mickelson, USA 7.68
4 Lee Westwood, Eng 7.04
5 Ian Poulter, Eng 6.31
6 Paul Casey, Eng 6.03
7 Jim Furyk, USA 5.35
8 Martin Kaymer, Deu 5.30
9 Rory McIlroy, Nir 5.00
10 Padraig Harrington, Irl 4.93
In my opinion Ian Poulter earned a big advantage in the finals over Paul Casey. The advantage was that after he sank an 7 foot putt on the 18th hole of his morning match on Saturday to beat Thongchai Jaidee, he went out and braved the elements much better than Sergio Garcia did in the afternoon and waxed him 7 and 6. He only had to play 12 holes in the afternoon for a total of 30 holes on Saturday. Good for him for getting it done and getting it done early in his Semi-Finals match. On the other hand, it took Paul Casey 5 extra holes on Saturday afternoon to beat Camilo Villegas which meant that he was out in the cold weather on Saturday afternoon for 11 more holes than Poulter. Then Paul Casey had to wake up super early to continue his battle with Camilo which luckily for him ended after only one morning hole. Ian Poulter got it done on Saturday, to be a little more ready on Sunday ...
Between Ian Poulter and Paul Casey, I see two great golf games. They are both great players, but their games are different. Paul Casey hits it a little longer, and statistically Ian Poulter has a little bit better short game.