Poulter holds on to win Hong Kong Open

Hong Kong: Ian Poulter held off a spirited challenge from Italian youngster Matteo Manassero to win the Hong Kong Open by one stroke Sunday, returning to the top 10 in the world rankings.

The 17-year-old Manassero completed a final round 8-under 62 at the Fanling course and finished at 21-under par 259, but Poulter’s round of 67 was enough to secure his 10th win on the European Tour.

Simon Dyson tied Manassero for second after a 65, while American Anthony Kang finished fourth, a stroke further back.

Poulter led Graeme McDowell by two shots heading into the final round, but the U.S. Open champion’s challenge was all but over by the third hole after a pair of bogeys. He finished fifth at 20 under after closing with a 68.

Rory McIlroy, who was runner-up in this tournament in 2008 and 2009, had a final-round 67 to finish sixth.

The main threat to Poulter looked like it would come from fellow Englishman Dyson, who eagled the par-5 third hole and had birdies at the fourth, sixth and seventh to move to the top of the leader board.

A bogey at the eighth, however, stalled his progress before Poulter reignited his charge, eagling the 13th after shooting a 32 on the front nine.

Not even a bogey at the last — only his second of the tournament — could deny the 34-year-old Poulter as he won his second European Tour event of the season.

Manassero, meanwhile, was consistently picking up shots and, after four birdies in the first 12 holes, an eagle at the 13th and another pair of birdies over the closing three holes, secured a share of second.

Bureau Report

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