Poulter primed for Jumeirah Golf Estates attack

Updated 07 November 2012
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Poulter primed for Jumeirah Golf Estates attack

DUBAI: Ian Poulter has set his sights on winning the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai after claiming his second WGC title in the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.
The Englishman, who also won the 2011 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, rose from 13th to fourth in The Race to Dubai and knows his typical end-of-season good form will give him every chance of triumphing in The European Tour’s season finale on the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estate in two weeks’ time.
“To move to fourth in The Race to Dubai is lovely news,” said Poulter. “I will now have a week off with the family at home, then I am going to defend in Australia before heading to Dubai where I will be trying to win the event and finish as high up in The Race to Dubai as possible.
“I don’t know what it is about this time of the year. I seem to perform very well at the end of the year. I have won in Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong and now China at a WGC, so it would be good to add Dubai to that list.
“It (Earth) is a golf course that I like very much and have obviously played very well on in the past so it will be nice to go there in very good form and see if I can pick up that trophy. “I think I always come into this time of the year very focused and I always try to take a little break in September/October before playing these big events and it seems to refresh me a little bit and really focus on the end of the season.”
Poulter had two weekend rounds of 65 to pip Jason Dufner, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson and Scott Piercy to the title at Shenzen Golf Club.
“To win another event, another WGC, against such a strong field is very satisfying,” the 36 year-old added. “I took a lot from The Ryder Cup and I am pleased with the way I have performed and got my mind back on the day job, which is winning golf tournaments.”
Poulter is no stranger to the Earth course having finished runner-up to Robert Karlsson after losing a controversial play-off in 2010 — the Englishman saw his chances dashed when he inadvertently dropped his ball marker on to his ball while on the 18th green resulting in a penalty that ultimately ended his chances.
But after three appearances in the end of season finale, he is the fourth highest earner in the history of the event and will start as one of the favorites when the top 60 in The Race to Dubai come together at Jumeirah Golf Estates Nov. 22-25.
World No. 1 Rory McIlroy still leads The Race to Dubai from Peter Hanson in second place with just three tournaments remaining before the final lineup for the $8 million DP World Tour Championship is decided. Free season tickets for the 2012 DP World Tour Championship are available online by registering at the official website www.dpwtc.com


‘Good, but not good enough’: Juan Antonio Pizzi on Saudi Arabia’s defeat to Uruguay

Updated 20 June 2018
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‘Good, but not good enough’: Juan Antonio Pizzi on Saudi Arabia’s defeat to Uruguay

  • A Luis Suaréz goal midway through the first half gave Uruguay a 1-0 win
  • Pizzi had spoken passionately about the need for his side to demonstrate a higher level of focus and performance

ROSTOV-ON-DON: Good, but not good enough.
That was what Juan Antonio Pizzi stated as he declared himself pleased with his team’s performance in the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay on Wednesday night.
But he lamented his side’s lack of firepower as they exited the World Cup after just two matches.
Pizzi had spoken passionately about the need for his side to demonstrate a higher level of focus and performance in Rostov-on-Don after losing their opening game 5-0 to hosts Russia in Moscow last week.
The Argentine got his wish with a display that saw the Green Falcons fight throughout and edge possession against a Uruguay side ranked 14th in the world.
A Luis Suaréz goal midway through the first half after poor goalkeeping from Mohammed Al-Owais, however, was enough to hand the Green Falcons a 12th successive World Cup defeat.
The result means that even with a win against Egypt on Monday, the Green Falcons are no longer capable of progressing to the knock-out stages from Group A.
“We had a lot of ball possession and were able to impose our style of play and distribution,” said Pizzi. “We conceded a goal from a random play and didn’t have the weapons or tools to try to equalize. We kept the ball well and weren’t really troubled defensively, but lacked that ability to score.”
Indeed, for all their possession, Saudi Arabia have managed just three shots on target in 180 minutes of football. Against Russia, they failed to muster a single effort on target and the managed just three against Uruguay, two of which came in the final minutes when they knew they had to score or face elimination. None of the three shots came from a striker.
“This is our weakness. We have good ball possession, but no effectiveness. We lack the depth and skill required to win these games,” Pizzi added. “We have that deficiency and have looked for solutions, but we haven’t quite come up with one yet. But that is one of the reasons great forward are in high demand and are the elite players in world football.”
Pizzi had made four changes ahead of the match, dropping goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf in favor of Al-Owais and introducing Ali Al-Bulayhi at the heart of the defense alongside Osama Hawsawi. Further upfield, Hattan Bahberi came in for Yahya Al-Shehri and Fahad Al-Muwallad replaced Mohammed Al-Sahlawi. The changes, particularly the inclusion of Bahberi, seemed to give the side more impetus in midfield.
“The difference between the performance in the first game and this game is enormous,” Pizzi said. “The only way to compete at this level is to play at the level we did here. And even then it was not enough even to get a draw. Undoubtedly there were other factors aside from the pressure of playing in the opening game that made a difference, but it’s true that the difference was enormous.”
Many critics had predicted a deluge of goals from the likes of Suarez and Cavani, yet both were kept at bay. Save for a couple of half-chances early on, neither came close to scoring until the 23rd minute.
A corner from Carlos Sanchez sailed into the area and when Al-Owais came for it but failed to connect with his punch, Barcelona forward Suaréz was left with the simplest of tap-ins. He was so caught off-guard, he actually looked surprised as he reeled away in celebration.
“I believe you cannot be relaxed in any match,” Suarez said when asked by a Uruguayan journalist whether he had taken it easy against the Saudis.
“We wanted to win and to progress to the knock-out stage and this game simply showed how difficult it is. That’s the World Cup for you though and we are obviously delighted with how we have performed so far to progress.”
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez did not share his striker’s sentiments.
“Saudi Arabia wanted to excel and give a better account of themselves after losing to Russia,” he said.
“They did that very well and we have to respect them. But what surprised me the most is how we played. We underperformed.”