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May 15 2011

12:42 AM

Poulter sprints to the finish

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- When is there running in golf? When you’re chasing the daylight and trying to finish your round before the horn goes off.

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Poulter
That’s what Ian Poulter did as darkness descended upon TPC Sawgrass Saturday night.

Knowing he was running out of time and eager to avoid a 5:30 a.m. wake-up call for a 7:45 a.m. restart Sunday, Poulter sprinted to the 17th green, pulled the flag himself and quickly lined up his putt.

Poulter two-putted for par, grabbed his driver and sprinted to the 18th tee -- only Phil Mickelson’s group had just teed off. Mickelson’s group stepped aside, though, and Poulter piped his tee shot 304 yards down the fairway before eventually making bogey for a 74 to fall to even par for the tournament.

“A 300-yard sprint was well worth four hours in bed,” said Poulter, who added that Mickelson gave him the green light back on the 16th hole.

“Phil came over and said you have to tee off, just give us a shout.”

That’s exactly what Poulter did and it resulted in his best drive of the day.

The horn blew while Poulter was on the 18th, but because he’d already teed off, his group was allowed to finish the hole.

“It was probably about the same as your heart rate is when you’re playing the Ryder Cup so it was just taking you back a few months,” Poulter joked when asked about having to tee off after a sprint. “I think quite a few guys in that situation would have done the exact same thing.”

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