The recent misfortune of Ian Poulter continued Friday, but the Englishman isn’t giving in. Far from it.
Poulter posted rounds of 75 and 71 at the Valero Texas Open, putting him at 2 over for the week. Play is yet to finish for the day, but Poulter is T-88 and two back of the cutline. Thus, he will miss the cut this week in San Antonio.
How is that significant? Well, the 41-year-old had been playing on the PGA Tour this season via a major medical extension. This came after Poulter took 20 weeks off from competition from late May to mid-October due to an arthritic problem in his right foot.
Poulter’s medical extension came to a close this week, with the Englishman needing to earn at least $30,624 at Valero to satisfy the extension and retain his Tour card for the remainder of 2016-17. A T-11 at the RBC Heritage nearly got him all the way there from an initial requirement of $347,634 or 218.42 FedEx Cup points in 10 events, but that sum of around $30,000 remained.
And as it turns out, Poulter satisfying the extension won’t come to be. That means Poulter has lost his PGA Tour card, which leads to immediate uncertainty.
“The most frustrating thing for the next few months is I can’t plan a schedule,” Poulter told Golf Channel in his post-round interview Friday. “I have to be ready to go at any given Monday to go to an event.”
Aside from that issue, though, Poulter was positively upbeat in the aftermath of losing his card.
The former Ryder Cup star noted that at least he’s no longer injured, and it’s not like he won’t have spots where he can play.
“It’s not all bad, right? I’m healthy, I’m playing golf, I’m still going to be able to play golf,” Poulter said. “I have the opportunity to have sponsor invitations … I also have some events I can play in Europe.”
Poulter, it should be noted, will be competing in next week’s team-based Zurich Classic of New Orleans with Geoff Ogilvy as his partner. Poulter iterated that the pair could go out and win next week, and that would change his situation drastically right away.
For now, Poulter can also play PGA Tour events out of the Past Champions, Team Tournament Winners and Veteran Members Beyond 150 on the FedExCup Points List category as he placed 174th in FedEx Cup points last year. That category is low down on the priority list, though, and certainly can get Poulter into fewer events than a full card would.
Regardless, Poulter took to Twitter to express his optimism about the situation.
And that classic Poulter drive? Oh, it’s still there, maybe more than ever.
A good attitude helps, but Poulter’s road back – especially to his former heights – will likely be quite difficult.
Tough times for a guy who once was one of Europe’s brightest stars. He’s optimistic now, but this circumstance will test his mettle.
Golf is cruel but Poulter is a fighter. This will be a battle worth watching as Poulter attempts to climb back.