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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2006 > European Tour > Open de Madrid Golf Masters > Round 4


Ian Poulter wins by five shots

Ian Poulter shot a 3-under 69 Sunday to win the Madrid Masters by five strokes and claim his first European tour victory in two years.

Poulter, who last beat Sergio Garcia in a playoff at the 2004 Volvo Masters, finished with a 22-under 266. Ignacio Garrido (66) was second.

"I played great, with just a couple of bogeys on those par-3s," said Poulter, who tied for third at the French Open earlier this season.

Darren Clarke shot 72 to finish at 7-under overall. The Northern Irishman played his first tournament since the death of his wife Heather from breast cancer on Aug. 13.

"I played all right, and I'm very pleased with how I'm hitting it," said Clarke, who had four bogeys in the final round. "It'll be a different golf course next week, which will be nice."

Clarke will fly to London to meet with his European Ryder Cup teammates before traveling to The K Club outside Dublin for the event, which begins Friday.

Garrido, playing in the fourth-to-last group, was the only player to pressure Poulter. But the Englishman birdied the 14th after Garrido closed the gap to three with a birdie at the par-5 16th.

Garrido soon ran out of holes, and bogeyed the 18th.

Phillip Price (67) finished third, one stroke behind Garrido, while Padraig Harrington (69) and Christian Nilsson (71) tied for fourth another stroke behind.

Clarke started poorly, with bogeys at the first and fourth holes. But he birdied the fifth and ninth and reeled off two more birdies before missing an 8-foot birdie putt at the par-4 12th.

He then put his tee shot at the par-3 13th over the green and into a bunker, and failed to save par from 10 feet. After chipping within 7 feet at the par-4 14th, Clarke had another bogey.

Thomas Bjorn played with Clarke for the first two rounds.

"I think he actually enjoys being back out playing golf," said Bjorn, who shot 71 to finish at 7-under 281. "He just wants to get into his normal routines, and it was an important week for him to get out of the way."

Bjorn was fined by the European Tour earlier this month after criticizing captain Ian Woosnam for using his two picks to select Clarke and Lee Westwood for the Ryder Cup. Bjorn was left off the team.

"I'm not going to watch the Ryder Cup -- I'm going away with my wife on holiday," Bjorn said. "But I'll certainly be in touch with what's going on."



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