Poulter capitalises on Lawrie's misfortune

 

Ian Poulter claimed his second Italian Open title in three years after former Open champion Paul Lawrie suffered a dramatic last hole collapse.

Lawrie had moved into a one-shot lead with a birdie on the 17th while Poulter three-putted for bogey, only for the Scot to then drive out of bounds on the 18th.

The 33-year-old from Aberdeen could only manage a double-bogey six and Poulter's birdie was the icing on the cake as he carded a closing 69 for a 19-under total, two-shot winning margin and the £115,000 first prize.

Lawrie's final-round 70 was still good enough for second place on 17 under with local favourite Emanuele Canonica, Dane Anders Hansen and Londoner Anthony Wall sharing third another two shots back.

Ireland's Padraig Harrington shared sixth place on 14 under after a final-round 63, not quite enough for him to overtake Retief Goosen at the top of the Order of Merit ahead of the final event of the season, the Volvo Masters, next week.

Lawrie began the day a shot behind but immediately wiped out the deficit with a birdie on the first, but three birdies in four holes from the fifth saw Poulter back ahead by the turn.

He went two clear after Lawrie bogeyed the 11th after finding a greenside bunker, but Lawrie birdied the 12th and 15th to get back on level terms.

Both players found the same bunker on the 16th but only Poulter was able to get up and down to save par and take a one-shot lead to the 17th.

The 26-year-old found trouble with his second shot to the par five however and then three-putted for a bogey six, Lawrie's birdie from 15 feet suddenly giving him a one-shot lead with one to play.

Lawrie carved his drive out of bounds however and missed from 10 feet for a bogey five, Poulter having the luxury of two putts for the win but only needing one from five feet.

PA