Ex-champ Poulter takes away positives after coming up short

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 05 December, 2011, 12:00am


Dethroned champion Ian Poulter mounted a strong challenge to become the first player to retain the title since Taiwan's Hsieh Yung-yo in 1964, but his four-under 66 to finish on eight-under 272 for a share of fourth was not enough to make up for an opening-day 71. 'It's disappointing, obviously,' said the Englishman, who was seven strokes off the pace on day one but could only close the gap to four on Rory McIlroy. 'I came to defend and I've come up shy. You know, to horseshoe out from 20 feet on 16 and leave it short in the middle on 17, I guess at that stage I knew it was pretty much all over.' Poulter said there were plenty of positives to focus on as he heads to the Dubai World Championship: 'My game is in shape. I'm driving the ball well, and going on to a golf course where I played really well last year ... Hopefully we can have a big week.' Poulter is in 21st place in the Race to Dubai.