Poulter shocks US again by taking a swing at baseball

Ryder Cup hero blasts American institution and claims he would make a great sports psychologist

Dubai

With one mighty strike into the bleachers Ian Poulter did for his reputation in America. The hearty welcome in the Orlando clubhouse he calls home is gone. The great Yankophile of European golf walked into the house of baseball and sprayed its walls with detritus. Babe who?

In an act of pure golfing Vaudeville Poulter trashed the national game of his adopted country. He also advocated his own talents as a sports pyschologist. After his anti-baseball rhetoric ahead of European golf’s season finale in Dubai, Poulter might have need of his own services when US immigration has done with him.

“I’ve never watched a full game of baseball. I walk out after about five innings. It bores me tearless. You want to sit there for four and a half hours eating hot dogs and a Coke? Come on, really? I’m sorry. I’ve got season tickets at the basketball. That’s over in two hours. I can go back home then.”

Poulter was responding to questions about the continued migration of European players to America after Ryder Cup team-mates Martin Kaymer and Nicolas Colsaerts announced they would be accepting PGA Tour membership next year. Presumably Poulter won’t be taking them to the Florida Marlins.

With so many tournaments on both sides of the Atlantic carrying dual Europe and PGA Tour status any westward leaning is not as threatening as it might have been to European golf a decade ago. One who has no appetite for the PGA Tour, nor much for Poulter for that matter, is Paul Lawrie, who played unsuccessfully in the States for a year after his Open triumph in 1999.

Lawrie’s frank autobiography, An Open Book, ought to fill many a stocking this Christmas. In it he lands a stiff right hand on Poulter’s nose. “I wasn’t rude to either of the guys I had just beaten [in the 1999 Open Championship play-off]. I didn’t shout and scream and celebrate right in their faces. I would never be unprofessional, unlike a certain English player I could mention.

“In the Italian Open of 2002, I played the last round with Ian Poulter. I was one ahead playing the 18th but drove way out of bounds. I had driven it great all week. So who knows where that shot came from? But the ball came off a weird tangent, 50 yards from where I was aiming. I eventually made six and Ian made a three. So he won by two. That’s fine. I can handle that.

“Golf is a hard game to play sometimes. As I’m sure you have heard a million times, we lose more often than we win. So you do get used to it. But I did think his fist pumping and shouting and bawling on the green was disrespectful to me as an opponent.”

It is precisely that tension between Ryder Cup excess and strokeplay formality that Poulter is trying to negotiate. He has made quite a fist of it since the heroics of September in Chicago, where Poulter singlehandedly turned around European fortunes on Saturday night before the onslaught of Sunday. Three top-five finishes, including victory at the final world golf championship of the season in China three weeks ago, are proof of that.

“It just goes to show what kind of golf can be played when I focus my mind. I’m going to work hard inside my little head to focus as well as I do when I play Ryder Cup,” Poulter said. “It is in me. It comes out in Ryder Cup so why shouldn’t I be able to produce it week in, week out? I guess I have done that in the last three weeks. We just have to see how long we can keep it going.”

Someone at the back who was clearly not paying attention fired off a question about the fine margins that differentiate winners and losers and whether Poulter had ever sought recourse to a sports psychologist “to unleash the inner hulk”. “Do you honestly think I need a sports psychologist? Are you crazy? Wow. That’s incredible. I think people would pay me a fortune to be a sports psychologist,” he said.

Poulter, who lost out at this event to Robert Karlsson in a play-off after dropping his ‘lucky’ coin marker on his ball and taking a one-shot penalty, is paired with Branden Grace today. A 60-man elite field contests the Dubai World Tour Championship with the top 10 in the money list sharing the £2.3m bonus jackpot.

Since Rory McIlroy has already bagged the $1m (£650,000) top prize, Poulter, fifth in the rankings, is in the mix for second spot. “I’m in form and feeling like I can end the year on a high note and move up the world rankings, which would be nice. Obviously Rory has locked up the Race to Dubai but a win would definitely move me forward, which would be very pleasing.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Pupils educated at schools like Eton (pictured) are far more likely to succeed in politics and the judiciary, the report found
voices
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash
tvSimon Cowell blasts BBC for breaking 'gentlemen's agreement' in scheduling war
News
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
people
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
Sport
footballAnd Liverpool are happy despite drawing European champions
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Diana from the Great British Bake Off 2014
tvProducers confirm contestant left because of illness
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
tv
Life and Style
fashion

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone