Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Poulter Flogs on in Glory Charge

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Poulter Flogs on in Glory Charge

Article excerpt

Byline: By Alan Hedley

Ashington's Kenneth Ferrie returns to European Tour action in the KLM Open today as Maarten Lafeber defends his title at Hilversum.

Lafeber, a 29-year-old from Eindhoven, thrilled the watching Dutch galleries at the same venue last year when he became the first home winner of the event in 56 years, starting the final round one shot off the pace but coming from behind to win with a closing 67 for a 13-under- par total of 267.

"To get my first win on The European Tour in front of the Dutch public last year was a very special moment," he said.

"I know, from having spoken to friends and colleagues back home in the weeks after my win, that the interest in the tournament was huge, around 600,000 people watched it on television and it just goes to show that golf is booming in the Netherlands."

There is the added intrigue of the race for Ryder Cup points as the qualification finishing line looms with The KLM Open being the fifth last counting event for the European Points List.

Of the players who currently occupy one of the ten automatic qualification places, two will be in action ( David Howell and Ian Poulter. However they are being pursued for their places by an eager chasing pack and leading the way are France's Raphael Jacquelin and the Irish duo of Graeme McDowell and Paul McGinley, who holed the winning putt at The Belfry two years ago.

Poulter, meanwhile, insists he is not repeating the mistakes of three years ago despite playing his eighth event in a row at this week's KLM Open.

He is enjoying one of his most consistent seasons since turning professional and his joint-fourth at last week's Scandinavian Masters was his sixth top 10 finish.

That form has lifted him into eighth place in the Ryder Cup European points list ( which will guarantee him a place at Oakland Hills next month if he can maintain it over the next four weeks.

Poulter missed out by one place for the last contest at The Belfry and admitted he had made a mistake by "chasing my tail" to try to make the side.

But after conceding on Sunday he was "absolutely exhausted" and would not play at Hilversum, Poulter changed his mind and will compete in the pounds 833,000 event. …

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