Cape Town – Ian Poulter came up with a pretty amazing way to serve his punishment after falling afoul of one of the PGA Tour’s rules.
After Poulter won the Houston Open in April, he was given an improved status on Tour and spots in majors, which naturally brought about a change in his schedule.
But the PGA Tour has a policy that says players who don’t compete in 25 events must enter a tournament they haven’t played in the last four years.
Per Tour guidelines, the violation would normally call for a fine and/or suspension, although Tour commissioner Jay Monahan can use his own discretion and none of these decisions are released publicly.
Poulter knew he was going to be in violation of this rule, and sought out Tour officials after the Masters to figure out a way forward.
“I told them, ‘How do you want to go about it?’ I’m going to be the first person [to violate the rule], and it’s going to be sensitive. I want to give something back so I can fulfill an obligation,” he told the Associated Press.
Not only did Poulter agree to play last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions and this week’s Sony Open. But he also added something pretty cool to mix.
Having skipped the Wyndham Championship so he wouldn’t have to play nine straight weeks leading up to the Ryder Cup (even though it would have fulfilled his obligation) Poulter told Wyndham to pick eight guests to send to his home in Orlando for a round with him at his home club.
The eight guests also had lunch with Poulter and toured his guest house that boasts his impressive collection of Ferraris, Ryder Cup memorabilia, bags, clubs, yardage books and more.
“I would say it was beyond what we would consider an acceptable make-good,” said Andy Pazder, the tour’s chief officer of tournaments and competitions. “To do what he did… was just terrific.”