Karlsson wins Dubai World Championship

Sweden's Robert Karlsson tees off on the ninth hole during the final round of the Dubai World...

Sweden's Robert Karlsson tees off on the ninth hole during the final round of the Dubai World Championship European PGA golf tournament in Dubai Nov. 28, 2010. (REUTERS/Nikhil Monteiro)

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, Last Updated: 12:18 PM ET

Robert Karlsson birdied the second playoff hole to defeat Ian Poulter on Sunday and win the Dubai World Championship.

Karlsson birdied the second playoff trip to the 18th hole at Jumeirah Golf Estates. He knocked in a four-footer, but caught a huge break from his opponent.

Poulter hit an indifferent third into the par-five hole, leaving himself close to 45 feet for birdie. He dropped his ball on his marker and the marker moved meaning Poulter was given a one-shot penalty.

"There's always positives to take, but right now, I'm not seeing them," admitted Poulter in a television interview.

Poulter now had 45 feet for par and lagged his effort close. Karlsson now needed two putts from four feet, but drained the birdie putt for his 11th European Tour title and second this season.

"Obviously it's been a fantastic day," said Karlsson in a televised interview. "I was very happy when he got that penalty shot. Sorry, it made my putt easier."

Karlsson posted a five-under 67 in Sunday's final round, while Poulter, the third-round leader by two, only managed a two-under 70. The pair finished regulation tied at 14-under 274.

Lee Westwood, the No. 1 player in the world and last year's winner, shot a four-under 68 and shared third place with Alvaro Quiros, who had a 67 on Sunday. The pair came in one stroke out of the playoff at minus-13.

Martin Kaymer couldn't make a Sunday charge, but the reigning PGA champion got another victory of sorts. He captured the season-long Race to Dubai and the 1,092,418 euro bonus for winning that honor.

"It's been a fantastic season for me. To win my first major and to be part of the winning Ryder Cup team is way above my expectations to be honest," said Kaymer, who tied for 13th at six-under 282. "And obviously when you win a major you know that you can win any tournament in the world."

The season-long race went in Kaymer's direction, but these four days belonged to Karlsson.

He flew out of the gate on Sunday with birdies at one and two. Karlsson chipped in for an eagle at the third and, that quickly, found himself one shot ahead of Poulter.

Karlsson gained even more ground when Poulter bogeyed the third, but trouble loomed for Karlsson. He three-putted both the fourth and sixth holes en route to bogeys and a share of first with Poulter.

The tie didn't last long. Poulter birdied the par-five seventh and moved one in front. Karlsson rolled in a 10-footer for birdie at the 10th to join Poulter atop the leaderboard, but the Swede inched ahead again when his 10- foot birdie try at 11 fell into the hole.

Poulter went on a birdie run to take the lead on his own. He birdied the 11th to tie Karlsson, then chipped in for birdie at No. 12 to reclaim a one-stroke cushion.

Karlsson waited until the final hole in regulation to pull even. He knocked his third inside three feet and tapped in for the easy birdie. Poulter had a 20-foot look at birdie at the last to win in regulation, but the putt narrowly slid by the hole.

After they returned to the par-five 18th, they played the hole in almost the exact same way. Both drove into the left rough, then laid up, then hit wedges four feet right of the hole. Karlsson and Poulter made their birdie putts and it was all over one hole later.

"I didn't really like being up against Ian," said Karlsson. "I know he's got a very, very good record and he's a feisty player. It's been a fantastic week. I did struggle a bit the second day, but the weekend has been fantastic."

Rory McIlroy carded a five-under 67 and finished alone in fifth at 12-under 276. Paul Casey (69) and Francesco Molinari (71) shared sixth at minus-11.

NOTES:

Karlsson was tied with, among others, Poulter with 10 tour wins before Sunday...Karlsson won this year's Qatar Masters...Poulter captured last week's Hong Kong Open...This was the final event of the 2010 season, but the 2011 campaign begins in two weeks with the Alfred Dunhill Championship.


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