Ian Poulter has managed to secure a spot in Dubai
Poulter was all set to return to his Orlando residence in Florida after sharing 19th place in Sunday’s conclusion to the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa.
The effort saw the 41-year old jump one place to 62nd on the Race to Dubai rankings.
The withdrawal, however, of Rory McIlroy (11th on the Race to Dubai) and Henrik Stenson (13th) has forced the European Tour to add two players to the $8m field to ensure of full contingent of 60 players.
Now joining Poulter in the elite season-ending event is fellow Englishman Paul Waring, who is 61st on the Race to Dubai rankings.
Poulter had first tweeted after Sunday’s Sun City last round: “Predicted at this second 62nd race to Duba. Rory and Henrik not playing. So it’s tight I get to Dubai .. packing my bags not knowing if I’m flying to Atlanta for nine weeks or flying to Dubai. As entries are not closing to 1 hour after play finishes”.
Poulter then received the European Tour he had been waiting for and was a seat aboard the charter flight direct to Dubai and a tee time later this week on the Jumeriah Estates course.
He then tweeted his delight: “Looks like I’m heading to Dubai for last event of the year … That was a little close .. looking forward to it now. I love the course and should be a great way to finish 2017.”
Poulter arrived early Monday morning local UAE time lying 54th on the World Rankings and desperate to finish high enough in Dubai that would ensure his place inside the top-50 at the close to 2017.
If so, it would earn Poulter an automatic exemption into the 2018 Masters and having competed at Augusta National for all but one year since making his debut in 2004, and with a best finish of T7th in 2015.
The top-50 in the world as at 31st December each year will receive formal invitations postmarked Augusta, GA to compete in the Masters.