By Neill Reid
With the victory by Rickie Fowler at the Players Championship this week, the spotlight has fallen on Ian Poulter. To bring you up to speed, golf.com recently had a confidential poll of tour players where one of the questions was who was the most overrated player on tour. Fowler and Poulter shared top billing at 24%, but you do have to question the results when Bubba Watson was declared third with 12% (the guy has won the Masters twice, but isn’t the most liked, so the results could well be considered a proxy for popularity).
Now, I’m not a tour player, so far be it from me to answer whether Poulter is overrated, but he himself answers the question through his behaviour.
There’s no doubt there’s plenty to admire about Ian James Poulter, from turning pro while still on a 4 handicap to his almost peerless results in the Ryder Cup, including never having lost a singles match.
He has been ranked as high as 5th in the world, but its possibly through his twitter account that we gain the most insight into the man. Not one to take a backward step, he’s got himself offside with everyone from Samsung to Ted Bishop, the ex-President of the PGA of America and whom Poulter was responsible for being sacked.
Poulter bought 19 Samsung flat screen TVs and was piqued enough to complain on Twitter about their lousy customer service when one was pronounced dead on arrival. Whether he was genuinely affronted or just wanted everyone to know that he COULD buy 19 flatscreens without batting an eyelid we’ll never know, but it was met with a suitable level of derision by those who work long hours for minimum pay.
Bishop called him a “lil girl” on Twitter after Poulter criticised Nick Faldo, who had criticised Sergio Garcia for being “useless” in the Ryder Cup (phew, how convoluted) And for that, Bishop was sacked as President of the PGA of America.
Then there’s the car collection: the Ferraris, Ford GT40, the Roller (since replaced by a Bentley), the DB9 (which has gone too). It all seems a bit like he’s trying to compensate for something. Which brings us back to whether he’s overrated.
Poulter was once quoted in Golf World in the UK “don’t get me wrong, I really respect every professional golfer, but I know I haven’t played to my full potential and when that happens, it will be just me and Tiger”. This was of course when Tiger was still in full flight, so I think we get what he was saying…… and it seems to me that he would swap every one of those Samsung TVs for a victory on the PGA tour and every Ferrari for a major championship.
Is he overrated? It certainly seems like he thinks so.
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