Ian Poulter pinpoints Hunter Mahan's chip-in at 12th hole as semi-final turning point
Last Updated: 24/02/13 7:37pm
Ian Poulter congratulates Hunter Mahan after the American sealed victory in their semi-final
Ian Poulter pinpointed Hunter Mahan's chip-in at the 12th hole as the turning point of their semi-final clash at the WGC-Accenture Match Play.
The Englishman ultimately fell to a convincing 4&3 defeat, but insists he was still very much in contention before a moment of magic from Mahan on the back nine.
Poulter was trailing by two as they prepared to play the 12th and looked to have an opening having found the green after Mahan had blazed his tee-shot through the green.
But the American proceeded to chip in and headed to the 13th with a stranglehold on the match as Poulter was unable to sink his lengthy birdie putt.
The Englishman told Sky Sports: "I'm personally disappointed, I would have liked the outcome to be slightly different but Hunter played very solid today, he chipped it unbelievably well when he had to.
"I think there was a key turnaround on 11 and 11. I had a putt there to win the hole on 11 from about eight feet and missed it, then he's hit the wrong club on 12 and gone flying through the back of the green, I kind of put in position on the green and he chips in - a huge turnaround there.
"I could have changed that match around there, but from that point in there was no let-up, he pars the next couple of holes and I miss a short-putt on 14.
"It was a shame really, it was tricky this afternoon with the wind and it was very tricky to go at some of those pins. It made it difficult."
Mahan acknowledged that his short-game had rescued him on several occasions, but insisted he had relished the task of taking on match play specialist Poulter.
"It's easy to get up for Ian because he's so good at match play. He's such a competitor, he's never going to be out of a hole, he's always going to find a way," stated the American.
"But today I played really well, I got up and down from a lot of tough spots and my short game definitely carried me today."