Ian Poulter WITB: 2018 Houston Open

Justin Rose

The top 50 at last Monday's cut-off earned exemption to Augusta, and Poulter was so dejected after being initially misinformed he was in the Masters field that he considered skipping Houston.

"To come here this week, I was exhausted, I was frustrated", said Poulter, who packed his bags after shooting 1 over on Thursday, assuming he would miss the cut.

That has happened four times since 2008, when Augusta National offered invitations to winners at full PGA Tour events: Johnson Wagner (2008), Matt Jones (2014), Jim Herman (2016) and Henley past year.

A group of four players, including Ireland's Paul Dunne, were two shots off the lead.

Ian Poulter is on the verge of securing a place at the Masters after firing a seven-under-par 65 to finish in a tie for the on Saturday at the Houston Open.

He then took the title on the first extra hole when Hossler chipped into the water from a bunker before making a triple bogey. "I had packed my bags to leave on Friday night, and had a mental switch", Poulter said.




After last week's narrow miss at the Dell Accenture WGC Match Play event, Poulter went into this week's tournament knowing that only victory would do to claim the last spot at Augusta next week.

"It is fantastic, to get this done today to get me to Augusta is awesome", Poulter told Sky Sports.

Jordan Spieth, who like Fowler is desperate to find some form, produced a strong finish with three consecutive birdies for a four-under 68.

And just as he has done so often in the Ryder Cup, the English ace poured it into the middle of the hole, prompting the chest-pumping, fist-pumping celebration we have seen so often in European clours over the years.

Poulter, 42, sank a snaking 20 foot putt for birdie on the final green to finish at 19-under par and force a sudden death playoff. "I thought Beau hit a good putt, I thought he holed it". "She's been a rock for the last few years, and it's been tough, it's been hard". "It's nice to work my way in to contention and if I can improve my position going in to Sunday then I'll have a chance".

Poulter finished the day tied with American Beau Hossler on 14 under par ahead of the final round, knowing that a only victory will earn him a place at Augusta next week.

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