Poulter seeking Italian hat-trick on happy hunting ground

Ian Poulter will be looking to roll back the clock when he goes in search of a third Italian Open title at the fifth Rolex Series event of 2019.

Ian Poulter

The Englishman claimed his maiden European Tour victory at this event in 2000 at Is Molas Resort and two years later he lifted the trophy again at Olgiata Golf Club in the capital.

Now part of the prestigious Rolex Series, the Italian Open returns to Olgiata for the first time since that autumn afternoon 17 years ago and much has changed for Poulter.

He has taken his tally of European Tour wins to 12 - including two World Golf Championships - while also becoming a talismanic figure in a period of European dominance in the Ryder Cup.

And having never finished outside the top 20 in six appearances at the Italian Open, he would love to make it a hat-trick and claim a 13th European Tour win nearly seven years after his last.

Ian Poulter

"Sardinia, clinching the win there for my first victory, that secured the Rookie of the Year as well," he said.

"That was a wonderful week and two years later I came to this golf course, not knowing it, and added a second Italian Open.

"It was a long time ago, 17 years, but it is always great to come back to a venue you’ve won at. It was the last time it was here too so hopefully it will be another great week to enjoy the Italian Open. I have two so it would be lovely to make it three.

"I don’t remember an awful lot of the course. I remember three putting 17 to give Paul Lawrie a one shot lead going up the last. He hit it out of bounds on the last and I capitalised by making birdie and he made double."

Poulter made a flying start to the 2019 Race to Dubai, claiming four consecutive top tens and then finishing inside the top 15 at the Masters Tournament.

It is always great to come back to a venue you've won at. I have two so it would be lovely to make it three

Those performances see him sitting at 15th in the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex and he is now aiming for a big finish to the season.

"It’s been a good year," he said. "It’s definitely been one to sit back, reflect and enjoy. 

"I’ve only missed three cuts so far this year, all three in Majors, the other one I had chance to win. 

"Consistency has been key. I’ve played pretty well in a lot of tournaments. I’ve not finished many off, which I would like to have done. 

"I’m playing six out of seven weeks in a row. So I’m going to play lot of golf coming up and see if I can get on a bit of a run and see if I can have a go at the Race to Dubai and then enjoy Christmas with the kids."

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