Poulter names his own fine for outburst

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The European Tour have come up with a bizarre method of ensuring that fines hit the multi-millionaire golfers hard enough in their bulging pockets - simply get the player to decide on the scale of his own financial punishment.

It was revealed yesterday that Ian Poulter arrived at the figure of £5,000 for his foul-mouthed outburst at a volunteer at the Irish Open a fortnight ago. George O'Grady, the Tour's chief executive, met with the man of loud trousers and even louder insults on the eve of the BMW Championship.

Poulter agreed that he should write a letter of apology to the ball-spotter he told to "fuck off out of here" when arguing whether his ball was trampled on or not, as well as pay a "substantial fine". "Ian suggested a figure which I found acceptable," said O'Grady, and when asked if this was normal practice he replied: "It is when I do it."

There was no official statement on the exact amount although a source later admitted that at £5,000 it equalled the record for fines dished out for misbehaviour.