Robert Karlsson overcome lan Poulter in a play-off to win the Dubai World Championship presented by DP World. The pair tied on the 14 under par mark of 274 after Karlsson, three behind overnight, played the first three holes in four under and then pitched to three feet for a birdie on the 620 yard last. They were round in 67 and 70 respectively and so sudden death decided who won the first prize of €910,348.

Both birdied the first extra hole after hitting approaches within five feet, and at the second extra hole Poulter miscued his sand wedge approach to leave a 30 foot putt. Karlsson was precise again, his ball finishing three feet from the cup, and to make matters worse Poulter then picked up a one shot pinalty when he dropped his ball on his marker and moved it.

Two putts meant a bogey six for Poulter, but the penalty was irrelevant as Karlsson holed his birdie putt.

The 2008 European Number One, who has suffered a serious eye problem and glandular fever since then, will also remember his start.From three behind Poulter overnight he birdied the first two holes and then sank an eight iron on the third for an eagle two, just as Martin Kaymer did in the opening round.

World Number One and defending champion Westwood shared third place with Alvaro Quiros a srtoke behind, the Spaniard missing a long eagle putt on the 18th and Westwood pulling his second to the hole into water and taking five when a birdie would have made him part of the play-off. Kaymer and Graeme McDowell, the only two contenders for The Race Dubai entering the event, finished joint 13th, which earned the 25 year old man German-the youngest number one since Ronan Rafferty in 1989-a bonus of €1,092,418. McDowell had to finish third in the tournament just to have a chance, but the memories of the US Open Championship and Ryder Cup, of course-softened the blow of just missing out on the top spot.

Karlsson said:”It was a strange day to say the least. To start birdie-birdie-eagle is not what you expect to happen when you are three behind.”

“Then there was the one shot penalty. It’s not the way you want to win, but these things happen in golf.”

“it’s a Fantastic field, and odviously when we have all of the best players in Europe together, the way it looks now, it’s going to be a great field-so to win here is fantastic.”

Poulter, winner of last week’s UBS Hong Kong Open and looking for consecutive wins for the first time in his career, struggled to contain his disappointment.

“A lot of possitives to take away, but right now not really seeing them,”he said.