wilson leads nona to tavistock cup


England's Oliver Wilson inspired his team to victory at the Tavistock Cup at Isleworth in Florida on Tuesday - as Ian Poulter took to Twitter to defend the event.

Wilson shot a seven-under-par 65 to take the individual honours and help the Lake Nona club win the title.

But there was growing resentment towards the exhibition event, which sees vast sums being played for and players ferried in by luxury helicopter each day.

Given the economic climate, the tournament has become increasingly criticised, with Golf World's Lawrence Donegan branding it the worst event in the world.

Poulter led the defence, saying: "Anyone who takes offense at Joe Lewis [Tavistock founder] is a complete muppet," he said. "Do your research. He is one of the most generous people I have ever known.

"Yeah, if you look at it, it's in a luxury estate, there's some of the best golfers from all over the world that live here and play here, it's a closed-shop deal, and you can’t buy tickets to come and watch the event and some people might take objection to it," Poulter said. "But look what it does for charity. How can you not defend it? If someone hasn’t been here, how can they say it isn’t a great event?"

Tiger Woods, gearing up for the Masters in April, shot 69, while his Albany team-mates Ian Poulter and Justin Rose shot 68 and 73 respectively.

David Howell (71), Darren Clarke (74) and Paul McGinley (74) all struggled as Surrey club Queenwood finished last.

European Ryder Cup duo Graeme McDowell and Ross Fisher were also part of the victorious Lake Nona side in the four-club event, which is similar in structure to the Ryder Cup.

Wilson, a nine-time runner-up on the European Tour but never a winner, finished birdie-eagle-birdie to pip Team Isleworth's Robert Allenby to the Payne Stewart Trophy for the best round of the day by one shot.

Allenby's fellow Australian Adam Scott, playing for Queenwood, had the third best round, with a five-under 67.

Isleworth had gone into day two of the competition with a two-shot lead following the opening day's two-ball better-ball competition.

But Wilson's superb round helped Lake Nona storm to victory with an overall total of 43 under par, 16 shots better than Albany.

Final Scores:
Lake Nona -43
Albany -27
Isleworth -25
Queenwood -18

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