Not for the first time, Ian Poulter risks ridicule from his fellow professionals here today, who have vowed to stage a walk-off from the driving range to leave him alone with Tiger Woods. The planned wind-up comes on the back of some highly confident – possibly "arrogant" – comments from the Englishman.
In an interview in the current edition of Golf World, Poulter is quoted as saying: "The trouble is I just don't rate anyone else. Now, don't get me wrong. I really respect everyone who is a professional golfer, but, the problem is, I know I haven't played to my full potential yet. And, when that happens, it will just be me and Tiger."
To illustrate the article, Poulter is pictured nude in his home in Surrey, with just a golf club covering his privates. That caused enough giggles among the competitors gathering at the Emirates Golf Club for the Desert Classic which begins tomorrow, although it is the boast about he and Woods which really got the jaw muscles aching.
Poulter is known for his grand claims – a few years ago he told some stunned fellow pros that he would win six tournaments that year – as well as for his outlandish dress sense. Most regard him as a refreshing character, although a few blanch at his escapades.
How Woods will react to this is anyone's guess, but we may well find out today. "The plan is to wait 'til Poults walks on the range, hope Tiger is already there and then we all walk off, leaving them together'," said one nameless insider. For the record, Poulter, is the world No 22, has been a professional for 13 years and won eight events and no majors, while Tiger is the world No 1, has won more than 80 events in 12 years and has 13 majors to his name. Peas in a pod.