The colorful Ian Poulter is on the verge of fading into the darkness
It could be the end of days for Ian Poulter, not just on the PGA Tour, but as a significant presence in professional golf.
You watched Ian Poulter struggle to a final round 73 at Harbour Town after entering Sunday positioned for his first win since 2012. He finished tied for 11th. The vagaries of the PGA Tour’s medical extensions and tour card requirements are generally beyond comprehension. But we at least know this specifically: Poults needs to card $30,624 at the Valero Texas Open to keep his card for the remainder of the season. That likely equates to a top-30 finish.
“I’m a little hot under the collar right now. Today could have been a victory and I’ve let it slip,” he told Sky Sports. To three-putt from 25 feet is unacceptable. I should have got it done today. I didn’t do what I needed to do and shut out some of the putts I needed to.”
In the agonizing world of professional golf, with its razor-thin margins, had Poulter finished one stroke better at the RBC Heritage, he’d have retained his card. Poulter has made five of his last six cuts, but hasn’t recorded a big-paying top-10 finish this season.
27th in the world as of the RBC Heritage in 2015, Poulter has fallen 190th in the Official World Golf Ranking as his form has suffered in recent seasons. Last year, he had to shut it down following the Dean & Deluca Invitational due to a foot issue that kept him out for the remainder of the season. And speaking of shutting down, Poulter’s clothing firm, IJP Design also closed its doors in March after 10 years of business.
Pro’s diverse business ventures off the course:
Henrik Stenson: Eyewear
The Iceman’s signature on-course item hit the market last year. Henrik Stenson unveiled the aptly named Henrik Stenson Eyewear, showcasing casual and performance models. (Photo source/Henrik Stenson Eyewear)
Bubba Watson: Candy, Baseball
Bubba Watson’s business interests are some of the more...interesting. He opened “Bubba’s Sweet Spot” a candy and ice cream store in Pensacola, Florida, last year. The left-hander also has an ownership state in the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, a minor league baseball team. (Photo source/Bubba's Sweet Spot)
Graham DeLaet: Beer
Oft-bearded Canadian, Graham DeLaet is the proprietor of Praerie Baard. The “Blue Collar Craft” beer is “an easy drinking, premium tasting beer - a great alternative to regular pale ale while not being too crafty in its taste,” according to the homepage. (Photo source/Praerie Baard)
Ernie Els: Wine, Course design
The Big Easy has owned a winery in South Africa since the late 90s. The Proprietor of Ernie Els wines has said "wine is like golf - in both endeavours nature has the last ruling.” Indeed. Els has also tried his hand at course design with his firm completing more than 15 tracks to date. (Photo source/Ernie Els Wines)
Phil Mickelson: Course design
Mickelson hasn’t made massive inroads in the business world outside of golf (beyond, well, gambling), but he has designed a few venues, and will surely do more once he’s done competing. Whisper Rock in Arizona is his most notable design. (Photo source/PhilMickelson.com)
Keegan Bradley: Beer
In conjunction with Freddie Jacobson and Graeme McDowell, Keegan Bradley launched GolfBeer Brewing Company in 2014. The first wave of player-branded craft beers included Jacobson’s Scandinavian Style Blonde Ale, Bradley’s New England Style Lager and McDowell’s G-Mac’s Celtic Style Pale Ale. (Photo source/Twitter)
Ian Poulter: Clothing design
While the firm has now gone belly up, Ian Poulter was designing clothes for IJP Design for the better part of a decade. While the tartans apparently weren’t selling, Poulter’s level of involvement in a clothing company while playing is unprecedented for a golfer. (Photo source/IJP Design)
Zac Blair: Golf Courses
While it’s tough to say exactly what the Buck Club is, other than a concept, at this point, this much seems clear: Course design aficionado Zac Blair has purchased a massive piece of property on which he intends to build a golf course. They’re already selling hats, for what that’s worth. (Photo source/Zac Blair, Twitter)
Graeme McDowell: Restaurants
Graeme McDowell’s Orlando restaurant, Nona Blue, has “a tavern soul and a foodie heart” according to the company. The spot is popular among pros, and the good folks at Google Reviews describe it as an “urbane pub with a sprawling wood-topped bar serving American fare with modern twists & small plates.” (Photo source/Nona Blue
Tiger Woods: Restaurants, Course design
As his career winds down, Tiger Woods has expanded into course design—Bluejack National in Texas has won him much acclaim. He is also the proprietor of The Woods Jupiter a “vibrant outpost featuring New American plates & cocktails in an urbane setting, plus patio seating (Photo source/The Woods Jupiter)
Retief Goosen: Wine, Course design
Also on the “wine and design” path, Retief Goosen purchased a South African winery in 1999 and has continued to make wine since under the “Goose Wines” brand. He has also designed a few courses, including Legend Golf & Safari Resort in South Africa and Dayi Smokey Mountain Resort in China. (Photo source/Goose Wines)
Dustin Johnson: Golf schools
We include Dustin Johnson’s golf school at TPC Myrtle Beach because it’s interesting that a top player in the prime of his career would open an instructional academy. Also, it’s interesting that DJ, admittedly an extreme “feel” player is throwing his weight behind formal instruction. (Photo source/Dustin Johnson Golf Schools)
He indicated at the time he’d “been unable to justify its continuation after many years of investing in the business and a number of attempts to reshape it against an ever increasingly competitive landscape.”
SEE ALSO: Ian Poulter shut down clothing line that no one knew about
While the IJP brand was never a particularly strong one with any great slice of market share, it was an indication of the strength of the Ian Poulter brand. In other words, Poulter was popular and high-profile enough that golfers wanted to wear what he was wearing.
And of course, thanks to his poor play and foot injury last year kept him off the European Ryder Cup squad. Poulter boasts a 14-4-2 singles record in the competition, which many feel he personifies.
Add to all of this the fact that Poulter is now 41 years of age, and it seems, despite his endless barrage of tweets, Ian Poulter’s star is dimming and his stock is dipping. Perhaps, a late career, Steve Stricker-esque resurgence is in the cards.
Certainly, his strokes-gained metrics are better this year than in the recent past. And Poulter’s many fans will point to the fact that, with a strong showing in Texas, the Englishman could rewrite this grim narrative. If he loses his card, however, expect many to herald the end of Poulterdom.
SEE ALSO: 5 Ian Poulter moments that will prove he’s completely unlikeable