10 Years Ago: Poulter Picks Up Wales Open Prize

10 Years Ago: Poulter Picks Up Wales Open Prize

Long before his colourful clothing line, his domination of the golfing Twittersphere and his talismanic performances in The Ryder Cup, Ian Poulter secured his fourth European Tour title at the Celtic Manor Wales Open in June 2003.

At the time, the £250,000 winner's prize was the biggest pay cheque of Poulter's career and the victory helped catapult him to fifth on that year's Order of Merit and a Ryder Cup debut the following year.

Ian PoulterThe Celtic Manor Resort Wales Open 2003.©Steve PopeSportingwales.com07798 83 00 89

Although he had won in each of the previous three seasons, Poulter was losing ground to good friend Justin Rose, Paul Casey and Luke Donald among a rich crop of talented young Englishmen, when he arrived at Celtic Manor in the early summer of 2013, suffering from a bout of tonsillitis.

He showed no ill effects as he led from start to finish and a 50-foot eagle putt on the 11th hole of his final round marked the decisive moment as Poulter eased to a three-stroke victory. He reflected:

I had no expectations at the start of the week. After the pro-am I went back to my room and fell asleep for two hours which shows you how drained I was. But to then shoot 65 in the first round, feeling as bad as I did, was very pleasing. I’m definitely moving in the right direction. This proves the work I have been doing is good and paying off.

Poulter’s final round playing partner Phillip Price had been hoping to become the first Welsh winner of the Wales Open but, after starting brightly with two birdies in the first four holes, he eventually signed for a closing 74 and joint seventh place. In the end Darren Fichardt, Jonathan Lomas and Jarrod Moseley emerged as Poulter’s main challengers and shared second place on 15 under par.

This year's ISPS Handa Wales Open occupies a new late summer date from August 29 – September 1. Take advantage of a half-price ticket offer during the week of the US Open by clicking here