Many People Are Saying Ian Poulter Played For Second Place Yesterday, And He's Not Happy About It

Players Championship Sunday. A chance for eternal glory. A chance for golf heroics. A chance to whip your balls out on the table and prove that you’ve got what it takes. Or, if you’re Ian Poulter, a chance to limp your way around Sawgrass’ famed back-nine and collect that paycheck.

We may not have had golf superstars but we did have a few good storylines for The Players Sunday yesterday. One of them was a collective effort rooting against Ian Poulter, who’s had a wild month after sucking so much that he lost his card, only to suck out because Brian Gay found some technicality with numbers or someshit. So Poults got his card, then a few weeks later, boom, he’s in contention at The Players.

Poulter’s a dickhead so naturally I was rooting against him. Wanted anybody but Poulter to win. Turned out to be an easy thing to root for, for he didn’t even play to win.

Brandel Chamblee said this.

“Look where he’s lining up (on 17). He’s lining up in the middle of the green. The person he is trying to beat is playing a par-5 behind him, and he’s got two shots to make up, and he plays to the middle of the green. It’s a fine shot, didn’t cost himself any money, didn’t cost him any world ranking points, but he clearly did not play to win—and he didn’t.

Money matters, world ranking points matter, and I get it. I have hit that shot. I have done that. I have done exactly what Ian Poulter did. No one is ever going to call me a good player. We reserve the right to call great players and great shots. This is why we don’t laud [Poulter’s shot]. We laud the shot David Duval hit, the shots that Tiger Woods hit. That’s why we laud those, that’s why we stand up and go ‘Well done, great shot.’ [Poulter’s shot], was not that.”

“If his belief in himself was greater than his talent, than he would have stabbed that in there at 16 and taken on the pin at 17.”

Brandel wasn’t alone in his analysis/criticism. Our pal Steve Elkington also pointed out Poulter’s clear lack of boldness down the stretch.

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 6.47.34 AM

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 6.47.44 AM

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 6.47.59 AM

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 6.48.09 AM

Poulter, who’s a social media queen, took exception to Brandel Chamblee’s comments.


Boom roasted. Then Chamblee blocked him.

The block move is a pretty weird wrinkle in all this; they’re both known for blocking EVERYONE.

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 6.51.45 AM

First, I just want to point out how weird this entire exchange is. Chamblee basically saying “hey you were gutless to protect that paycheck, which is totally cool, I get why you did it, I’ve done the same thing.” Then Poulter coming over the top with “LOL I’m better than you and you sit on your arse boom roasted.”

Then Chamblee blocking him… a top golf analyst blocking a popular TOUR pro. Whole thing’s just weird.

Second, Poulter OBVIOUSLY played for second. He played for a paycheck. On 16, he lays up from like 4-iron range with what the on-course commentator called as good of a lie as you could possibly hope for. On 17, he hit it to 35-feet (with a wedge) while trailing by 2 shots. On 18, he was aiming 40 yards right (avoiding water) and shanked it even farther right.

Chamblee might rub people the wrong way with his self-righteousness, but he is absolutely spot on here. He and Elk both are — Poulter took zero chances to catch the leader, instead playing the percentages to maximize his paycheck. It’s fine, the dude made $924,000, but it’s not what legends are made of. It’s not what Players lore comes from. It’s not what the fans want to see.

It’s gutless and everybody knows it. It’s another chapter in the long story of how and why Ian Poulter is a douche who should always be rooted against.