Poulter's Austin Powers trousers stride into golf's sartorial history

Crazy trousers, crazy guy. Don't you just love Ian Poulter and his wacky taste in strides? If golf really is a game all about tradition then the 28-year-old followed in the grand one yesterday that says the dafter you dress, the better you must play.

Crazy trousers, crazy guy. Don't you just love Ian Poulter and his wacky taste in strides? If golf really is a game all about tradition then the 28-year-old followed in the grand one yesterday that says the dafter you dress, the better you must play.

But then again, even Jesper Parnevik, the master of sartorial inelegance, might have blushed at Poulter's get-up yesterday. Some of the public who rang up the Royal and Ancient to complain certainly did, as did some of the Royal Troon members, one of whom confessed that on an ordinary day Poulter wouldn't have got through the gates never mind on to the first tee. Why, the Milton Keynes professional might have got turned away from Henman Hill.

It wasn't the hat turned the wrong way that was so offensive, and definitely not the white shirt that was sobriety itself - it was those trousers, not to mention the matching trim on shoes and shades. In a Union Jack pattern they made Poulter look like a cross between Ginger Spice and Austin Powers. As one cad remarked, Poulter did not looked dressed for a game of golf so much as a sea burial.

The reception was mixed. The galleries, Poulter maintained, loved it, even though his level-par 71 hardly had them in awe. "I had a wolf whistle on the 7th," he said, while the fellow professionals just rolled their eyes. "I enjoy playing spectacular golf," Paul Casey said. "But I'm not going to wear spectacular clothing."

Peter Dawson, the R&A secretary, said Poulter "added a bit of colour" and revealed that the Open organisers would not do anything to stop such outlandish clothing unless "it distracted his playing partners".

Poulter, meanwhile, was bemused by the very idea that anybody could bar him from wearing whatever he chose. "What could they do - they're just trousers? Make me walk around in my boxer shorts?" he said before admitting that he was inspired by the late Payne Stewart.

"I only did it to try to add a bit of colour. Professionals are usually so drab and colourless... You should see what I'm going to wear tomorrow."

Troon could barely wait.

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