The Englishman needed a win at the Houston Open to advance into the year's first major and duly delivered, making a 20-foot putt for birdie to get into a play-off and then capitalising on a Beau Hossler mistake to win a play-off.
Poor Beau Hossler did not know what had hit him, although if the young American wanted to know he need only ask any of his countrymen who played in the 2012 Ryder Cup.
"To come here this week, I was exhausted, I was frustrated", said Poulter, who packed his bags after shooting 1 over on Thursday, assuming he would miss the cut.
On what became an incredible Texas afternoon, Poulter at one stage held a four-shot lead.
"My tee-to-green stats have been fantastic", he said ahead of the WGC, "but my putting has to catch up, because if I get it back to where it was from 2009 to 2012 it will be very, very exciting". Ian basically had the same putt and there's no way he was going to miss it after watching my ball. "Unfortunately, he came out on top this time, but I feel good about my chances moving forward and I feel good that I can contend when it's important".
The pair replayed the par-four final hole and American Hossler, 23, chipped out of a bunker into the water.
Poulter kept a pragmatic and calm approach throughout the proceedings and two-putted for par to win the tie.
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The Mississippi State-Louisville victor will take on the victor of Friday's other semifinal game between UConn and Notre Dame . Let's start by going to the final 20 seconds of the fourth quarter, in which the Fighting Irish had a five-point lead.
They finished at 19-under 269.
That not only earned Poulter his first stroke play victory on United States soil - at the 241st attempt - it also earned him the golden ticket to Augusta reserved for the victor.
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - Inbee Park and Pernilla Lindberg played until it was too dark to see Sunday night - and still couldn't decide the ANA Inspiration.
Poulter spurned a number of birdie chances himself but he remained patient as Hossler parred the closing three holes - his own birdie putt at the 18th just shaved the hole - and he snatched his opportunity in dramatic circumstances at the death. Park and Lindberg then made par on their fourth try as darkness set in. The last time he shot a 67 in his final round before the Masters was in 2006.
Park, the 2013 victor, is seeking her eighth major championship.
The win ensured his maiden strokeplay triumph on the PGA Tour with the additional reward being him afforded the 87th and final spot for the Masters scheduled to commence on Thursday.