Poulter wins in Australia
England’s Ian Poulter won the Australian Masters yesterday, spoiling Geoff Ogilvy’s bid for a victory on his boyhood course. Poulter, two strokes behind Ogilvy entering the round, closed with a four-under 67 in windy conditions to finish at 15-under 269 at Victoria Golf Club. Australian Marcus Fraser had a 64 to finish second, three strokes back. Ogilvy, the 2006 US Open champion who matched the course record with a 63 on Saturday, shot a 73 to end up third at 11-under. Poulter quickly erased Ogilvy’s overnight lead with a 15-foot eagle putt on the par-four first hole. He then hit a birdie on the seventh to take the outright lead and added another on the ninth to make the turn with a two-shot advantage. World No. 1 Luke Donald had four birdies on the front nine to move up to fifth place, but followed with four bogeys on the back nine to finish with a one-over 72 and a share of 12th. Greg Chalmers failed in his bid to become the second player to complete the Australian Triple Crown, shooting a 74 to join Donald in the group at 4 under. Robert Allenby remains the only player to sweep the Australian Open, PGA and Masters. He accomplished the feat in 2005. Poulter putted well in the final round, despite the windy conditions. After nailing the 15-footer for eagle on the first, he sank a long putt to save par on the fifth and putted across the green for birdie on the seventh. He nearly made another eagle on the ninth, with the ball stopping inches from the hole.
Chen’s Mechelen frustrated
Taiwan international Xavier Chen’s KV Mechelen were held to a goalless draw by basement dwellers K Sint-Truidense VV on Saturday in the Belgian Jupiler League. The Yellow Reds, who grabbed a point off leaders RSC Anderlecht the previous weekend, failed to make a breakthrough against the Canaries, who remain bottom of the league, to pick up a share of the points and remain in 10th place ahead of the rest of the weekend’s matches. Chen played the full 90 minutes.
Jeff Green out for season
Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green will undergo surgery for an aortic aneurysm next month and miss the this season, the NBA team said on Saturday. The aneurysm was detected during a team physical last week, and after additional testing doctors recommended surgery, the Celtics said. The surgery, at the Cleveland Clinic on Jan. 9, should completely repair Green’s condition and he can expect to resume his NBA career next season, the team said in a statement. “While we are saddened that Jeff will not be able to play this season, the most important thing is his health,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said. Green, 25, was a first-round draft pick for the Celtics in 2007. He was traded to Seattle the same day and played three-plus seasons for Seattle/Oklahoma City before rejoining the Celtics in February as part of a trade. He played in 75 regular-season games for Oklahoma City and Boston last season, averaging 13.3 points and 4.8 rebounds.