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Poulter withdraws from Singapore Open because of missing driver

SINGAPORE -- British Open runner-up Ian Poulter pulled out of the Singapore Open after being unable
to replace the driver that was stolen at the HSBC Champions
Tournament in Shanghai, which ended on Monday.

"I am really gutted," he said Wednesday. "I
have been thinking about it for four hours and I have decided to
withdraw because my new driver will not arrive on time.

"It is disappointing because I did not come all this way not
to play. But with so many world ranking points at stake, if I
played badly [by using a different driver], I may have lost
ground."

The Cobra driver, which he had used in this year's Ryder Cup at Valhalla, was snatched from his bag Saturday at the Sheshan Golf Club. Poulter, ranked No. 25 in the world, offered a reward for the club's return, and signs were posted around the club. A building camera caught an image of the robber, but he was not able to be identified.

"I'm absolutely distraught about it as I had spent months testing drivers till I found the right one," Poulter said. "Although I keep two spares, one in America and one in Europe, they just don't feel the same."

The Singapore Open starts on Thursday, but Poulter was told by the manufacturer that a replacement would not have been ready until Friday.

India's Anirban Lahiri will take Poulter's place in
the field for the $5 million event at Sentosa Golf Club, the
richest national open on the Asian Tour.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.