Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter shot a 7-under 65 to rally from four strokes back to win the HSBC Champions by two shots on Sunday.
The Englishman had eight birdies against one bogey to finish at 21-under 267.
It was Poulter’s second World Golf Championship victory – he also captured the Accenture Match Play Championship in 2010 – and his first title of any kind since the Volvo World Match Play Championship in May 2011.
Phil Mickelson (68), Jason Dufner (64), Scott Piercy (65) and Ernie Els (67) finished in a tie for second at 19-under 269.
Lee Westwood and Louis Oosthuizen, the co-leaders overnight, slumped to equal sixth after struggling on the greens and posting identical scores of 72.
“I’ve already spent the check last week… Yes, it was a vehicle and yes, it was very expensive”
Ian Poulter, on his $1.2 million prize
Poulter was the star of the European squad at the Ryder Cup this year, making five straight birdies alongside Rory McIlroy to rally the pair past Dufner and Zach Johnson and give the Europeans the point they needed to keep their hopes alive heading into singles play on the final day.
The Europeans then came back from a 10-6 deficit to beat the Americans 14 ½-13 ½.
Poulter had four wins in four matches at Medinah and improved his career Ryder Cup record to 12-3 – the highest winning percentage of any European golfer in history.
But he was winless on the PGA and European tours this year and said before the HSBC Champions that he wanted to win a stroke-play title – badly.
“I’ve only been one season without a victory and I certainly didn’t want to go another one,” the 36-year-old said.
“As well as I’ve played this year, it would have been a disappointment personally to have gone that year without winning.”
With the $1.2 million winner’s paycheck, Poulter moves up to fourth spot in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai. The money will also come in handy considering he just treated himself to a new car.
“I’ve already spent the check last week,” he said.
“Yes, it was a vehicle and yes, it was very expensive.”