monthly blog

Leading up to flying to Paris I managed to get some rest, family time and practice finishing with a fun match against Henrik Stenson at Lake Nona.

  • October, 2018

    Leading up to flying to Paris I managed to get some rest, family time and practice finishing with a fun match against Henrik Stenson at Lake Nona.

    Ryder Cup Paris
    As you all know the Ryder Cup is my Major and this year was just amazing. I cannot describe the atmosphere which around the first tee was very special - I even took time to go sit in the stands with the fans on the Friday morning for the start of the Fourballs!

    The Fourballs started off slowly for us in the morning going 2 down. But Captain Bjorn had a plan for his teams and that did not waiver in his belief in us which showed through in the afternoon Foursomes with a clean sweep for Europe, which I contributed playing with Rory. Saturday morning had the pleasure of playing with Joh Rahm for the first time and we had a great match against Justin & Jordan who were worthy winners. In the afternoon Rory & I faced them again which we lost. But by Saturday night Europe had a commanding lead going into the singles. There was much mention in the media about the score line being the same as the ‘Miracle of Medina‘ and could the USA come back. Trust me we knew they would come out strong Sunday and nothing can be taken for granted in match play. At one point mid-day they made a charge but we held our nerve and the end result 17.5-10.5 showed our outstanding performance. In summary I will share with you the belief among this team and the captaincy of Thomas Bjorn was outstanding. Every player contributed a point to our win and as the oldest player at 42 years old (just pipping Henrik by 3 months!) I felt really proud to share this Ryder Cup with my fellow Europeans.

    To close my Ryder Cup story there was a special moment that got captured by a photographer that went viral with the picture of Luke and me and afterwards I posted on social media. Yes, it’s a special week to have your family with you and Luke at his age really engaged the whole week like never before. And I guess beating the No.1 player in the world on the 18th summed up our emotions that erupted when the value blows off the pressure cooker!

    Downtime
    Left Paris and stopped off in London for the day before returning to Orlando on Tuesday. A couple of days wind down in between meetings and then a special trip to New York. My good friend Peter Goodwin invited Tom Hartley Jnr & myself to spend a day at Monticello Motor Club with a few special cars he brought to the track. Don’t read this the wrong way but that was one of the most incredible days of my life driving the McLaren F1 (a petrol heads dream). Hard to explain how much of a super car it really is for a 23 year old 1995 super car. Add to that a Jaguar C-type Le Man winning car and a Ferrari 250 SWB and it gives you some idea. What a way to celebrate winning back the Ryder Cup!


    Flew back home and in between drawing winners for our give away on the web site. It has been a great fun seeing you all enter from so many countries with a big thank you to Ship Sticks sending them out worldwide. I really needed to rest! The fun time was visit to Universal Studios with the family for the Halloween theme rides which I must say was brilliantly presented and the kids loved it and I met my name sake!

    CJ Cup Korea
    The start of my 2019 PGA Tour season kicking off in Korea and leading into the WGC HSBC Champions in China. Unfortunately this coincided with the week of www.dreamflight.org making their annual visit to Disney World Orlando. What can I say about Pat Pearce - 1 lady, 1 idea, 32 years later, 5,500 children making the trip of a lifetime! I am very proud to be associated with this charity.


    Started with 3 solid days setting myself up tied for 2nd going into the last Rd. Sadly after a fast start with 2 birdies I never kicked on from there and a sloppy bogey on the last resulted in a T10 finish. I have to say really enjoy coming over to Asia, previous year playing Malaysia and Korea, this year Korea and China.

    WGC HSBC Champions China
    Delighted to playing in this event again due to my win in Huston back in March moving me comfortably inside the top 50 in the World rankings. As you all know I have won this event hosted at Mission Hills back in 2012, oh how young I look! Which leads on to someone pointing out on Twitter at the HSBC sports dinner before the event that I am the oldest player in the field at just 42!


    Started off the week nicely with a 69 and went the wrong way with 71, 74, and 74 finishing T21. No excuse but it was challenging conditions and there were some low rounds. Posted but also unusually high scores as well. Nevertheless HSBC present a great championship and you can see the interest growing in the game in China. With the science of time travel I left Shanghai Sunday evening to also arrive home in Orlando the same evening! I picked up an infection along the way which has laid me low with my asthma kicking in at the beginning of the week (those of you that follow me on Instagram will have seen the size of the Albuterol inhaler I use). But by Halloween felt somewhat better to do the draw for our October grand prize of the signed box set Titleist head covers and the 3rd & 4th week winners announcing in my splendid Halloween mask. Spent the rest of the evening taking Josh and Lily trick and treating.

    So I have one more week rest, then off to Dubai for the DP World Championship, the final event for 2018 on the European Tour where on the Wednesday 14th we will make the live draw for the Footjoy Ryder Cup shoes! Then on to Melbourne Australia to play the World Cup with Tyrol Hatton representing England and then my clubs packed away till January 2019.


    Until next time
    Poults

  • September, 2018

    After a few days home in the UK getting over missing the cut at The Open, I flew over to Canada for their Open Championship, one of the oldest on the PGA Tour. On the Monday evening the Feherty show that we filmed before the BMW championship back in May at my home in the UK aired on Golf Channel. I did mention on social media what a great time we had filming it and of course Feherty had to have the last word by tweeting the picture of my previous Open championship outfit… The kind words from you all after the episode have been really humbling. THANK YOU FOR THE SUPPORT AND FOLLOWING, YOU MAKE ME STRONGER AND KEEP THE DREAM ALIVE


    Canadian Open
    I played in the RBC Golf Day (the sponsors of the Canadian Open), the legend Lee Trevino hosted us and just had everyone crying with laughter with his brilliant stories which you could listen to all day!


    I really like Glen Abbey, it suits my eye and played well there in the past. So I expected a good week despite the previous 2 events and got off to a great start with a 66 & 69 going into the weekend. They call Saturday ‘Moving Day’. Well, mine stood still – one of those days with 3 birdies & 3 bogeys. Shooting a level par round dropped me well down the board to T29 which was frustrating but had me motivated for Sunday. This resulted in a closing 67 and a finish of T12 and off the course before the weather delay. From there I decided to stop off in New York for a few days before heading down to Ohio for the WGC. Spent some time with friends there and they took me for the first time to the famous Italian restaurant RAO’S – it’s amazing and such a fun atmosphere! It’s a must on your visit list if you get to NYC.


    WGC, Akron, Ohio
    Great to be back in the top world 50 and playing these events again! Before the event kicked off the pgatour.com posted the film we did at the house back in May before the Players championship. ‘It’s complicated‘ spoke about all things past and present, hope you enjoy it:
    ‘It’s complicated‘
    This is a classic golf course and one that should be good for me. Don’t know why but thought I had done well here previously so decided to look at my results and was shocked to see in 13 starts I had only recorded a best T13 twice. So, I wrote them all down, shared with you all on social media and wrote the statement ‘Great course – Poor record’. Well, it must have had the desired motivation effect as I went out and shot a 1st Rd 62, 8 birdies/10 pars! Which I was informed later was my best PGA score in 819 rounds. A 2nd Rd solid 67 put me in a tie for the lead heading into the weekend and I was paired in the last group out with Tommy Fleetwood. By Saturday afternoon the course was starting to dry out and scoring was much tougher. I managed to grind out a level par 70, which meant losing the lead, going in Sunday 3 shots behind Justin Thomas but still T2. Sunday was huge disappointment. Bogey on the 1st set the trend for the day, my distance control was off and no excuses for a poor finishing Rd of 74 which dropped me down to T10. So not the result I wanted after starting the week with my best Rd on the PGA tour and my 500th world tour event at 42. Flew back to Orlando for a few days’ rest, was nice to be home after leaving on the 20th May for Europe, some 10 weeks!


    USPGA Championship 100th Celebration
    Hosted in St Louis, Bellervie Golf & Country Club. It was really hot and to be honest the conditions favored the longer hitters as can be seen by the final leaderboard. I had a steady week, nothing spectacular with a T31 shooting 67, 70, 68, 70.
    Had a week off with the kids going back to school. On the Saturday Joshua played his first US kids tournament. It was an amazing day that I will never forget. He was focused and wanted to win, finished 2nd, missing out by 1 shot. To have this experience with him made me very proud – 43 for 9 holes were very impressive. The best thing was said afterwards: ‘Dad, when is my next tournament?’


    FedEx Play off Northern Trust
    I decided to play all 3 events to make the play off for the first time in my career. To be honest my week was flat, never got anything going. If I had to flag a highlight it was playing with Tiger in the 3rd round! Otherwise at the end of the week dropped 4 spots in the FedEx to 38th.


    Boston is not starting till Friday so although it was kind of a longer week break it did not exactly work that way. I flew to New Jersey on Monday for a Audemars Piguet Day and then on to Boston on Tuesday for Titleist filming. There I picked up some cool Ryder Cup shoes, you will hear more for them later. Flew back home Tuesday night, spent Wednesday and Thursday hitting some balls and working on the launch of our prize give away section on www.ianpoulter.com which you already know about. Really excited about this – I signed so many gloves, hats, shoes and some major prizes up for grabs. Flew to Boston in the evening only for the flight to be delayed so spent a couple of hours on Instagram and had some great fun answering questions.

    FedEx Dell Technologies Championship
    Strange how some weeks ago my swing was in great shape but my putting just went off. It was a shocker – too many 3 putts and missed birdies opportunities and I missed my first cut in a long while. I don’t like the course in Boston and feel it just favors the longer hitters. So, wanted to rock on and try and have a great week at the BMW which at this stage of the FedEx Cup was not what I wanted to make that play off.


    Wednesday 5th September 5
    Ryder Cup team wild card picks announced by Captain Bjorn. Want to share with you how honored and privileged I feel to represent Europe for the 6th time. My passion for this amazing event and what a week it’s going to be is well documented. USA team looks strong and congratulations to Tiger, Phil and Bryson for getting picked. It’s going to be hard fort and very close match.


    FedEx BMW Championship
    I needed at least a top 10 finish to make the play off’s but it just did not happen. Playing too much the last two months caught up with me and I was just flat the whole week. Started the play off’s in 34th place finally ended up in 50th position. Disappointing end to the finish of my season on the 2018 PGA Tour but what a year, thank you Houston!

    Until next time when we will talk all things Ryder Cup.

    Poults

  • July, 2018

    US OPEN
    After the Italian Open took a week off at home in the United Kingdom before heading over to the US Open at Shinnecock hills where I played my first US Open back in 2005. To be honest it’s been my less favorite Major, best finish being T21 so arrived with no expectations but confident with my game. Everybody knows the traffic in NYC is a nightmare so started the week off in style by talking a Heli ride from JFK in a blackbird thanks to @heliflite.

    With the World Cup starting and being a big football fan we did a shoot for Fox Sport which was fun on the Tuesday and started my preparation for the week.

    Thursday got off to a good start shooting 1 under – 69 and sharing the Clubhouse lead. Friday really got hot and had it at 2 under with 2 to play finishing on the front nine. The 8th which ended being my favorite hole of the week (+6) bit me big time – after a drive in the middle of the fairway flared the approach out to right into the bunker. Being in an aggressive mode, forgetting my US Open plan I wanted to get up and down rather than expecting bogey worst time. Well, a thin over the back of the green into the rough, a chunk and 3 shots later I walked off with a 7, added a bogey on my last hole and I signed for a 72.

    Anyway, after calming down I was still in the mix and felt good heading into the weekend. That’s until we arrived at the course for a late afternoon tee-time. You all know what happened on the Saturday so will not go into detail but in a nutshell the course became nearly unplayable, signed for a 76, then a 75 on Sunday and there you go a T25 finish! I do not normally comment on wins but have to say I am so happy for Brooks Koepka! Not because he is a friend of mine but to achieve back to back US Open – first player do to so since Curtis Strange back in the late eighties – is really something.

    FRENCH OPEN
    Had a few days off in between arriving back from NYC and heading over to Paris for the French Open which I have competed in 14 times. Looking back I found this picture from my archives to share with you below! This year of course it was important to see how it’s playing with my aim of being in that Ryder Cup team in September. It was unspectacular week finishing T21. But I put the new @titleist TS3 driver into play which I had been testing before heading over giving me a higher launch, lower spin and more distance. Not bad for a 42-year old with spaghetti arms, ha-ha.


    SCOTTISH OPEN
    Before heading up to Edinburgh we had a great family week starting off with a visit to Silverstone with Luke and Josh for the British Grand Prix with @paul_diresta taking me out in a 2 seater @f1 car. On the Saturday had the honour to meet Sir Jackie Stewart and watch him take his Matra MS80 from 1969 around the circuit, what a legend! Sunday race day we caught up with Lewis Hamilton pre-race time.

    Monday with Katie we had an amazing day at Wimbledon along with a number of other tour players. We were invited by Philip Brooks – the chairman of the All England Club, and his wife Gill. Watched Sirena Williams and the legend Roger Federer and of course the famous strawberries with cream and handmade chocolates.

    Flew up to Edinburgh Tuesday afternoon with the family and in the evening joined up with @RCABRERABELLO for the HERO CHALLENGE in Edinburgh castle. We did not win but had a lot of fun and what a stunning location! If you visit Edinburgh it’s a must to make a stop at the castle.

    On Wednesday I played the Pro-Am in an England football shirt ready for the big match against Croatia that night (waiting for the fine from the European Tour!). Gutted with the score but all credit to the lads. What a great effort to get to the semi’s! Our national football team is looking good for the future. The week was steady with 4 rounds in the 60’s but never got it going and finished with a T30. To be honest felt real good heading to Carnoustie.

    THE OPEN
    Well, least said the better… A week to forget! I entered the week in good spirits, booked in at the hotel overlooking the course and expected a good week. A grinding first round of 73 (+2) did me no harm starting late afternoon through I knew my game was off. With a morning start Friday was confident I would make the cut. Well, 81 blows later with a triple and 2 DBl’s my Open week was over. Easy Jet beckoned to take us back down South to spend a few days with the family until heading over to the Canadian Open. Congratulations to Francesco Molinari! What a display this weekend! Huge win and huge respect!

    Next blog with come from over the pond, playing another 3 weeks in a row, moving on to the WGC and then the last Major of the year – the PGA Championship.
    Until next time.
    Poults

  • June, 2018

    My month started off with Players Championship. As you all know this time last year was the turnaround of my fortunes and this course fits my eye so generally play well here. The week before that I did a couple of shoots for the PGA Tour social media which you can take a look at here

    Started off nicely Thursday and Friday and Saturday had it really going at 5 under with the 18th to play. I walked off 17 to see I was T2, a par up the last put me at 10 under and a good chance going into Sunday. Well 15 minutes later I racked up a double bogey. Trust me if I had another 50 attempts from where I was don’t think I could have played worse. To say I was raging was an understatement!

    Posted a 3 under 69 on Sunday for a T11 which is kind of acceptable but a case of what could have been… Anyway, I consolidated my position in the Fed-Ex points moving up 1 spot to 24th.

    To sweeten the bitter pill Monday flew to the Bahamas for my first golf event with Henrik Stenson for our new sponsor @auraelifestyle (Instagram) and a great time fishing and golfing.

    Sunday night flew over to the United Kingdom for a 9-week period playing the European Tour with a trip back over for the US Open in the middle of June. Started off with the BMW PGA Wentworth, the European Tour Flagship event. On Monday had the Golf Channel crew invade my home to film the Feherty show. Cannot tell you how much fun we had filming this, will let you know when it goes on air and the link.

    Tuesday was my eldest son Luke birthday, made 14yrs. How the time flies! On Wednesday played the Pro-Am with one of my Arsenal heroes Ian Wright and two football greats Alan Shearer and Gianfranco Zola along with my dad. We had a great time talking about my second passion!

    Thursday opened with a 74. Wentworth is an interesting one for me. As I commented in my press interview I was extremely angry, extremely disappointed, extremely frustrated and let’s leave it at those words because if I use any others I’m going to look like a complete idiot. Well, the good news is the week got better and with a 67 on Friday I comfortably made the cut to make a run over the weekend only to tread water on Saturday with a 72. However, a 68 on Sunday gave me a T20 so all in all a good week at an event where my best finish has been 15th.

    Sunday night I flew to Italy to visit Ferrari Spa tailor-made department to design a new 488 pista with @tomhartleyjunior. After the morning work, we went for lunch at Ristorante Montana famous for its Ferrari memorabilia.

    I chose an old period colour accented with gold rims matte. All the carbon fibre is matte finish. It is hard to show the real colour on pictures and all the details but it will look amazing. Thank you to @elefont80 and the @ferrari team for hosting us in the tailor-made department.

    Ferrari gave me to drive a ‘gtc4lusso‘ from Maranello to Lake Garda for the Italian Open which I have won twice and was nice to return after 16 years. Had a decent week with a VERY close Hole-in-one on the 1st day on the 10th hole – 8 inches!

    Had it going on Saturday until the last hole where I had a sloppy double bogey. But a decent round on Sunday gave me a finish T8. So heading into the important summer stretch I am in a good position to make a run for the Ryder Cup team in September where I really want to be.
    Until next time
    Poults

  • May, 2018

    The Masters
    After the whirlwind from Houston I flew home for just one day and then headed to Augusta with Henrik Stenson arriving late Tuesday afternoon. It’s the first time I have ever arrived so late to prepare for the Masters but I came in on a high and the big question was going to be could I maintain it after the drain of the last 5 weeks. I decided to fly over Terry Mundy who has caddied for me all of the Masters appearances. We have a joint arrangement now that he will loop the European Tour and James Walton – the PGA Tour but with his knowledge of Augusta and no time for preparation it made sense. And although James was disappointed he just had his biggest pay day! Terry is now managing young Sam Horsefield starting his first season on the European Tour and also my Dad came over for a two-week visit. We played 9 holes Tuesday afternoon after the media interviews. There was a lot of attention after qualifying for the last spot and settled into the week. Wednesday was a low-key day with an early evening guest spot on Sky sports golf which was fun with Paul McGinley, Butch Harmon and the Sky golf team.

    Thursday got off to a slow start and had to go deep to keep the concentration, for some reason the rounds were very slow and finished with a 74 leaving work to do to make the weekend. Friday had a few more birdies and some silly mistakes due to the challenge of staying focused but enough to get me into the weekend on the number with a 75. Off the course, the fun news was seeing the pairings for Saturday and a round with a certain Mr Woods. We all know the media intensity on his return and the expectation for the Masters so it was interesting to witness first hand his game. I must say the atmosphere was amazing! And the support which shows his pulling power and although still not firing on all cylinders I could see the game is there. Remarkable really considering where he was 18 months ago. Needless to say, he scored better than me!

    Sunday was a freewheeling round and despite a sloppy double bogey I shot 69 to finish with my best round of the week. In summary, it was a great but strange week with high and low emotions. As long as I stay in the top 50 world ranking through end of the year I will be back in 2019. Just to finish with congratulations to Patrick Reed, the pressure on leading the Masters is nothing you can compare or explain. Sorry to see Rory fall away in terms of European interest but the run from Jordan and Rickie made it a battle to the end and Patrick was a deserving champion.

    So on to the RBC Heritage and my straight 7th week. This is one of my favourite events, it’s a shot-makers course and I have a good record here. So, although tired, having my dad for company gave me strength and I had a good feeling which turned out to be the case for the first three days taking a 1 shot lead into the final round. Could I make it two wins in 3 weeks…

    Sunday was just one of those days where I could not make it happen. The putter went cold and the swirling wind around that course made the club selection difficult. With 4 holes to go I had to press and take chances which did not work out and that’s reflected in my final score of 75. Although disappointed to finish T7, I was excited to be in that position again with the pressure of trying to win a tournament. It sets me up well for the busy summer schedule coming up and able to deal with that pressure again.

    Arrived home on Monday night after a MasterCard corporate day in Charlotte on the Monday for a week and no really downtime as so much to deal with after the Houston win. But it’s a nice challenge to have! So on to the Zurich Classic partnering with my good friend Gmac. We love this format of fourball and foursomes from our Ryder Cup experience.

    We had a steady week with no real fireworks and finished T22. I have to say this is a great event – we as players enjoy mixing up the format to make a change. And full credit to Zurich Insurance committing to the event through 2026. So, at the end of April I stand 26th in the FedEx Cup standing and 26th in the World Golf Rankings. I have one week off now and on to the Players Championship. After that I will jump across to the European Tour and play the BMW Championship at Wentworth in the UK.
    Until next time
    Best wishes
    Poults

  • April, 2018

    After the intense media coverage on the incident I flew home Saturday night for some down time and decided on the Tuesday to fly to Huston and play myself into the Masters. (All players have to confirm entry for the following week by 5pm EST on a Friday which I did during the Dell). No way I could give up this opportunity on reflection. First day was a disaster and at 123rd place I actually went back that night and packed my bags! That was me playing games with myself and setting a challenge which turned out successful… I’ve been saying my game was good and it all clicked into place – the swing, the putting stroke, I just felt really good and focused. After a 64 and 65 went into the last round tied for the lead. Played in the last group with Beau Hossler. A few groups ahead Jordan got off to a hot start and the crowds went with him which in a way made our round a bit more relaxed than the usual Sunday last tee time pressure. Got off to a fast start and made 3 quick birdies. At one point I had a 3 shot lead but it’s never over till it’s over. Through holes 12-16 Beau made 4 straight birdies against my 4 pars and all of a sudden I am 1 back! I just told myself same patience, I was swinging great and had my irons dialled in. The last 2 holes at Houston are not easier through – on 18 Beau hits an amazing bunker shot to 30 feet and nearly makes the putt to win upright. The good news for me was we had the same line so I saw the putt committed and, well, you know the rest…

    As I revealed in my interview I was always going to Augusta National. It was just a case of when I was going to Augusta National next week either as a commentator for Sky Sports or as a player!

    It was well documented – I had never won a stroke play event in the USA, 6 years since my last win, needed a win to get into the Masters. Well if you believe in fate then after the Dell Match Play it was scripted to turn out this way. I cannot describe my emotions. Last few years have had their challenges on and off the course and as I said in my post round interview this one is for my wife Katie, she is the reason I am still playing out here, what more can I say…

    In summary the first 3 months of the year has had its highs and lows, but how sweet is a victory the week before the Masters, one to treasure with fond memories!
    Until next time
    Best wishes
    Poults

  • February, 2018

    From the Middle East flew back to the USA and started my season at the Phoenix Waste Management where I kind of have a love/hate relationship! The crowds are just amazing and hole 16 is really like visiting a stadium watching gladiators, which this year had it going nicely in both first rounds until then… My favourite shot decided to appear just at the wrong time and in front of 200,000 people! Just imagine!!! Being interviewed after as I said it’s not the first and will not be the last, that shot is close to perfection as we keep telling ourselves.
    Before the Honda I tested new Titleist clubs (check out what’s in my bag), changed up the driver and shaft and put new shafts in the irons which I am happy with. But the Honda and the Valspar the following weeks did not work out.

    I have started off the new season with two new sponsors, both new to golf, and have no doubt they will enjoy and benefit from their exposure in our sport.

    The Arnold Palmer is always a honour to be invited for. This year I was happy to see young Sam Horsfield receive an invite and shine in such a class field with a T14 finish. He is one to look out for on the European Tour, give him a follow on twitter @hr59sam. I finished T41 – not great but really felt my game was coming together.

    So on to the World Golf Championships – Dell Technologies Match Play. As has been well documented in the press I went back to the putter from Medinah to ignite that spark on the greens that has been missing. Got off to a fast start against Tommy Fleetwood, then continued that with a win over Daniel Berger setting up my match with Kevin Chappell knowing a win was needed to advance to the last 16. After a few holes I could sense Kevin had a problem and finally after 9 holes he conceded with back problems. Having had my own injuries I fully understood his decision and wish him well.
    That set me up to play Louis Oosthuizen. It was the first time we played each other and what a great match needing 8 birdies against his 6 to win on the 17th and set up a quarter final match against Kevin Kisner. That’s where my day became a little bizarre… I was told by the Golf Channel, Media & European Tour that I was in the Masters, then 10 minutes before I teed off I was told ‘sorry, points were not enough‘… Frustrating to say the least and no excuse for my poor performance against Kevin, not putting up a match after 4 great days.

    Until next time
    Best wishes
    Poults