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Golf Australia Express : OTG Express 170
Phone (03) 5338 3010 www.ballaratgolfclub.com.au 1800 Sturt Street, Ballarat BALLARAT’S PREMIER GOLF COURSE ■ 18 holes of golf ■ plus lunch from the lounge menu click here for all the info SOCIAL GOLF DEAL SOCIAL GOLF DEAL $35 PER GOLFER And his potential absence from the WGC event also had wider implications – it was to be his 13th and final European Tour event of the year (it is co-sanctioned by both the PGA and European tours), so missing it would have cost him his European Tour card and a likely place in the Ryder Cup. Faced with the rankings disaster and requiring a few measly percentage points to secure his spot at the HSBC Champions, Poulter hotfooted it 14,000km from his Florida home to the Hong Kong Open at the last minute in the hope of securing the points he needed. American Rich Beem even forfeited his sponsor’s exemption to allow Poulter to take his place in the field. The result wasn’t forthcoming, with Poulter finishing outside the top 20. But then fate intervened yet again. Listed as the sixth alternate for Shanghai, the Englishman was gifted a spot in the field after Brandt Snedeker withdrew. It turns out Poulter’s dash at the death wasn’t even required — not that the Englishman was complaining. “I guess it was meant to be,” he tweeted after learning he’d be playing at Sheshan International. “I found a voucher in a Willy Wonka Chocolate bar,” he added when a fan questioned him about how he’d managed to swing an entry. We should also mention Watson, who’ll arrive in China hoping for more of the same after his year-ending victory in 2014. Remember that shot at the 18th to force extra holes? The flop from the bunker hunted the hole like a tracer bullet for an eagle and allowed him to shade Tim Clark in the playoff. Whatever the HSBC Champions costs China each year, that shot alone made it worth almost every Yuan. So there it is. China. The place where the only thing you can expect with any certainty is that the unexpected will happen. Let’s hope the tournament saves its biggest mysteries for Sunday. OTG Ian Poulter, a former event winner, has never missed an HSBC Champions tournament since it began in 2005.
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