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Ian Poulter is already focusing on ending a 16-year Majors drought for English golfers

Updated: Monday, 05 Nov 2012 10:51 | Comments

Ian Poulter is all smiles as he walks behind the HSBC trophy he won in China on Sunday
Ian Poulter is all smiles as he walks behind the HSBC trophy he won in China on Sunday

It is not only a 14-year-old Chinese amateur who cannot wait for the US Masters in April - Ian Poulter hopes it will be a special week for him too.

Ryder Cup hero Poulter headed back from China to his Florida home last night with a second World Golf Championship title to his name and with even more belief that he might be the man to end England's 16-year wait for another major winner.

His two-stroke victory at Mission Hills came on the same day that schoolboy Guan Tianlang, who turned 14 less than a fortnight ago, booked himself a trip to Augusta by winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Thailand.

"I don't know what's going to happen there, but I know I just want to do well," said Guan, two years younger than Italy's Matteo Manassero was when he set the record in 2010.

If the Masters was on this week, Poulter would have started as one of the favourites.

He came third at the last major of the season, the USPGA Championship, in August, famously won all his four games in Europe's victory at Medinah in September, ended October with a fourth-placed finish at the BMW Masters and now has begun November in sparkling fashion.

Two closing 65s swept the 36-year-old from nine behind to a two-stroke victory over Open champion Ernie Els, fellow four-time major winner Phil Mickelson and his two fellow Americans Jason Dufner and Scott Piercy.

The closest Poulter has been to winning a major was when he was runner-up to Padraig Harrington at the 2008 Open, but never has he had so much confidence - and that is saying something for him.

"It's obviously a fantastic feeling, especially after the Ryder Cup," he said.

"I've definitely taken a lot from that and obviously I'm riding that
wave as much as I possibly can.

"I base my schedule around the majors and obviously players get looked upon by how many majors they've won.

"I have not done that yet and this will certainly help towards confidence - not that I really need too much of that - in getting me the right mindset to go out and perform like I know I can.

"I know I've got the golf game. People keep asking all the time 'when, when, when?' - I don't know when, but I'm trying really hard and I'll do my best next year."

His next event is his defence of the Australian Masters next week - that was his last solo victory until this weekend - but that does not count for the European Tour Order of Merit.

The Singapore and Hong Kong Opens do, however, and after a week off world number one Rory McIlroy enters them with a lead of over £616,000 and close now to securing the same European and US money list double achieved by Luke Donald last season.

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