Ian Poulter ranted on twitter, but only after Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama went on a rant of his own slamming his putter into the green in the difficult second round on Friday.
Matsuyama, 22, had struggled during the day making the turn at 4-over 40 and when he missed a seven foot putt and slammed his putter in the green before walking off the 13th green.
When the group behind Matsuyama that included Poulter, Jason Dufner and Charl Schwartzel reached the green, the indentation was large enough and deep enough for Schwartzel to request a rules official to repair the area before he putted.
“It was bad,” Schwartzel said of the hole. “You could almost see what shape putter it was, what name putter it was, it was deep.”
At 9:37 Friday night, Ian Poulter started his rant on Twitter via his account, @IanJamesPoulter:
- “Playing with Matsuyama tomo. He buried his putter in the 13th green 5 ft from the hole, Referee had to repair the crater. Because he didn’t.”
- “Im no saint and first to say. But that was disgusting. I wouldn’t bury a putter in a green 5 ft from a hole and have players behind deal with it.”
- “Why should Matsuyama leave a crater in the green for others to putt over, or have to call a referee to repair the damage. Idiot.”
- “I can’t wait to. @Lainger66 are you going to speak to him like a man or just blast him on twitter like all the other keyboard warriors?”
Matsuyama spoke about damaging the green Friday after his 1-under 71 Saturday.
“I didn’t really realize it had damaged the green that badly,” he said. I did hit the green with my putter, but I didn’t notice it, realize it, but the group behind did, and that’s what counts.”
Matsuyama also said that he “felt really bad” after hearing about the reactions Saturday morning. He said, “All I can do is apologize for what happened,” which is exactly what he did when came to Doral on Saturday morning. Before his round, he managed to seek out all three players in the group that played behind him.
He caught Dufner and Schwartzel before their rounds in player dining.
Dufner confirmed the apology, but would not say anything else citing that it was between the players and not for the media.
“I don’t think he needed to apologize to me,” Schwartzel said. “We all get cross, it’s a tough game. Especially yesterday and if you did do something like that all I said is you just need to repair it. We’ve all gone through our stages where the game gets to you and things like that happen hopefully he learned just to repair it.”
Matsuyama found Poulter on the range before he started his preparation for the round. With his translator, Matsuyama walked the 30 yards over to Poulter and apologized.
“I made loads of mistakes,” Poulter said to Matsuyama. “If you’re going to do it repair it. We all make mistakes and that’s fine.”
The two shook hands and Poulter said for Matsuyama to play well today.
That was it.
When Poulter finished his practice and walked off the practice range he passed Bill Haas who said, “I liked that tweet last night.”
Poulter turned with a rye smile and kept on walking.