Ian Poulter isn’t exactly everyone in America’s favorite golfer. The guy has tormented the U.S. in the Ryder Cup for years and he constantly brags about it (see the picture above). To his credit, no one has silenced him and he has every right to brag, however, when you do that as a PGA Tour golfer you have to know that you’re just inviting fans on this side of the pond to dislike you.
That’s just what happened on Thursday at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
Poulter, who finished four-under at 66, had just stuck an approach shot on the 18th and while his ball was in the air, a fan yelled, “Get in the bunker!”
“It is a shame, I hope we can control it more going forward and it gets stamped out, because it is not needed in the game of golf,” Poulter said after the incident.
This immediately irked Poulter and he turned to the fan and said, “Really, you deserve to be here, do you?”
He then motioned for security to remove the fan from the course.
“It is disappointing, to be honest. I get it, I’m an Englishman, I play on the Ryder Cup team, I’m sure I’ve upset a few of these guys from time to time when they’re watching TV,” Poulter said to Sky Sports after his round. “But when we’re playing a world-class event like we do week in, week out, and you’ve got guys like that, in a small group and want to feel big in front of their friends and they scream silly things out, it is disappointing.
“I hate to do that [kick someone out], but we shouldn’t be getting abused in this day and age. Unfortunately it happens quite often. Most of the time we just ignore it and let it go.”
We all know this isn’t Poulter’s first run-in with fans. He’s suffered at the hands of them for years just like the U.S. Ryder Cup team has suffered at the hands of Poulter for years.
But, this kind of behavior is definitely not acceptable on the course from fans during regular season Tour events, and as a fan, you should understand that if you are yelling things like this at players then you are running the risk of getting yourself tossed out.
“It is a real shame, we’re here at a WGC tournament, it is a great field, has a great purse and has got everything we want to come here and compete, apart from one idiot who decides to be silly,” Poulter said.
Poulter is currently four back at four-under of leader Matthew Fitzpatrick.
Note: It’s still pretty funny.
Michael is the founder and Editor in Chief of The Stiff Shaft. He is also the Senior Editor of Golfweek Custom Media and covers the World Long Drive for Golf Channel.
He has 8+ years of covering golf, is an LSU fan, and prefers to hit driver-wedge as often as possible.