Has Ian Poulter just put his head in the guillotine? Is he channeling Rory Sabbatini? Has he seen what happens when someone has the nerve to suggest that he might be Tiger’s equal?
In a recent interview with Golf World UK, the flamboyant one said:
“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.”
While a great many in the golf media are taking that as a as a challenge to The Great One, I don’t see it that way. Note that Poulter didn’t say “I think he’s more beatable than ever.”, as Rory did; nor did he make Stephen Ames’ mistake in saying “Anything can happen, especially where he’s hitting the ball.” (that was just prior to Tiger drubbing him 9-8 in the Accenture Match Play—as bad a loss as can be had). It wasn’t even on the order of Phil challenging Tiger’s “inferior” equipment.
No, as I see it, this is a challenge to the REST of the Tour … a group that surely is in need of a good swift kick. As a spectator, I’d love to see bunch of young, hungry gunslingers come out with six guns blazing, ready to take on all comers. Instead, I think we too often see a pack of also-rans, shoulders slumped as they watch Tiger run away with yet another tournament.
The tour needs some pretenders to the throne, but I wonder if Poulter, for all his bravado is that guy. He’s got just nine professional wins; none on the PGA Tour. Poulter’s best finish in a Major was a tie for ninth at the 2006 PGA. And he’s currently ranked 22 in the world.
But I hope he can pull it off. Aside from that fact that he’s an authentic character, it’d be fun to see someone race up the charts, much as Steve Sticker has done over the past couple of years.