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Opinion & Analysis

No consolation? Breaking down Poulter’s rant



If you aren’t one of Ian Poulter’s more than 1.4 million followers on Twitter, you might have missed the flamboyant Englishman’s comments about the consolation match at WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

Poulter fired off a series of tweets which displayed little faith in the venerable old institution of the consolation match the morning after his 1 up loss to Jason Day in the Match Play’s losers’ loop.

Like so many of our favorite athletes and celebrities, the plaid enthusiast has a history of colorful Twitter rants.

If you’re not familiar, Google “Ian Poulter + Twitter rant” for a bit of light reading.

The following are the match play ace’s comments:

Ian Poulter's Match Play Tweets

Is this all just sour grapes, or does Poulter have a point?

Primarily, Poulter was correct in his assumption that Jason Day would withdraw from the Honda Classic. The PGA Tour announced the golfer’s WD last night and his replacement in the field by Luke List.

But there is a significant cash difference between the third and fourth place finisher (in addition to OWGR rankings points, FedEx Cup points, etc). For his third place finish in the tournament Jason Day collected a $615,000 check. Ian Poulter’s fourth place check amounted to $400,000. Perhaps both would have been willing to say “good, good” on the match and pocket identical checks for $507,500, but I’m not sure.

Regardless, Poulter’s contention that playing the second match on Sunday/ the sixth match of the week is a significant hardship, which compromises the participants play in the next week’s tournament (the Honda Classic) merits examination.

Here’s a list of the participants on the WGC-Accenture Match Play consolation match between 2005 and last year and how they fared in the next week’s tournament (if they played).

Accenture Match Player Consolation match

Certainly some (perhaps Poulter) will argue that the peculiar circumstances this year were the real marrow of his complaint. The majority of those who played on Sunday had to play most of their matches over four days, rather than five. Also, weather delays plus colder-than-average temperatures may have enhanced the fatigue the last four standing were feeling.

However, as we can’t suppose that all the players who didn’t play in the next week’s event did so because of the particular fatigue brought on by having to tee it up for another 18 holes after knowing they weren’t going to win the match play, it’s difficult to draw any firm conclusion from the “DNPs.” And obviously, such players would have had to have committed to the succeeding tournament well before their consolation matches.

It may be significant to note, however, that none of the players in the consolation match from 2005 to 2012 withdrew and that fatigue didn’t seem to be a serious issue for said players. All who played in the week following their consolation match made the cut in the succeeding tournament, with two—Lee Westwood in 2012 and Camilo Villegas in 2010—finishing in the top 10.

With his withdrawal this year, Jason Day was the first to break with that tradition.

Given this, there are many ways to spin Poulter’s comments. One way is that this is another example of a PGA Tour professional whining about problems 99 percent of the world (and 99 percent of professional golfers, really) would love to have.

Another possible reading is that Poulter, fiery and honest fellow that he is, is again airing his grievances with the powers that be, such as he did last year after a final-round 76 at the Barclays.

Your assessment of the situation might have much to do with your feelings in general toward the polarizing, passionate and pink-loving fellow. The reality, though, is that those who play in the consolation match and go on to compete in the next calendar event often play quite well.

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  1. Pingback: Poulter Stumbles Finishing 2nd Round At U S |

  2. blopar

    Mar 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Gosh Ian–doesn’t collecting $400 K so your fans can watch you duel it out in match play and placate the TV advertising sponsors who pump up your tournament purses interest you at all??? It is sports entertainment as well as competition in the long run!!!

  3. William

    Mar 1, 2013 at 8:13 am

    I agree with everything Poulter says. But, had he won, we would not be having this conversation. If he doesn’t like the way the 3rd and 4th spots are decided, he doesn’t have to play in the event. Problem solved.

  4. Golflaw

    Feb 28, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Poulter is right. Playing for 3rd is a big nothing to a competitor. It’s to fill time for the sponsors. I’m old enough to remember when they also played a consolation game before the NCAA basketball games. The games were so lackluster and played with no emotion even TV gave up and it ended.

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  7. Mike Leether

    Feb 28, 2013 at 10:21 am

    I care what Poulter has to say for about one week every two years. That is all….

  8. Mark Burke

    Feb 28, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Just play golf.

  9. Jim

    Feb 28, 2013 at 4:30 am

    If Tiger and Rory were playing for third place and Poultrr and Day were in final which match would you watch .

  10. Simon

    Feb 28, 2013 at 2:30 am

    Poor Poults, he knew the rules when he entered the event. If he feels hard done by I will pick him up early one morning and take him to a factory to work 60 hrs a week for about $500 that should stop his whingeing

  11. Steve

    Feb 27, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    I also agree with Poulter on this (of course, I pretty much always agree with him – he’s honest to a fault). I for one would LOVE to ba able to pick Ian’s brain for an hour regarding match play strategies and tactics.

  12. luke keefner

    Feb 27, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    The consolation match is just there to fill up air time on tv. It would be pretty boring watching 2 guys walking to their shots for most of the telecast. The bright side would be choking on the same Michelob Light commercials over and over(sarcasm)

    • RJD

      Mar 1, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      ding, ding, ding!!! this is exactly what it is about. That entire day is nothing but commercials as it is but if you had one less match to air, it would be ridiculous.

  13. jerrrrry

    Feb 27, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    TW 67 so true…….forgot all about that, glad you brought that to attention of those that don’t no how deep his integrity goes……

  14. Jeremiah

    Feb 27, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    It’s his job. Sorry if playing golf and getting paid is so rough. He knew the stipulations of the event going into it. If you dont win, you play consultation round. If you don’t like it stay home. People would kill to be in his ugly shoes….

  15. Blanco

    Feb 27, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Yes Ian Poulter can say what he wants… but so can the pubic. He will continue to loose the respect of fans and the media with his combination of ignorant frat-boy perspectives and this “emo” super wealthy selfishness.

    I must says this: anyone who thinks IJP design or its founder makes good looking clothing or makes clothing look good, has an extremely foul sense of esthetics and taste in general. If he wore it like John Daly wears Loudmouth, I’d have no problems with it… but this guy is SERIOUS about the gothic-argyle-spandex-leather thing. I started biting my nails again after watching his interview on Feherty Live– I have not stopped since.

    • Devon

      Feb 27, 2013 at 6:02 pm

      Agreed, my wife and I were watching the match play last weekend, she doesn’t know much about golf and giggled and mentioned he needs a new stylist. I told her that those were actually his designs and he owns a clothling line, the look on her face was priceless. Poulter’s ignorance and this “me me me” attitude is growing tiresome to watch these days.

  16. Trevor

    Feb 27, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Ian Poulter; LOL. I can’t stand his bratty-baby ways and tantrums. He cries when he wins, he cries when he loses, he cries about playing Golf for a living and cries when he has to spend time with his kids and play golf at the same time!

    Just Ridiculous.

  17. TWShoot67

    Feb 27, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    You know if he doesn’t like the format just don’t enter, it’s not like they changed the format and all of a sudden 3 and 4th play a consolation match …. it’s been happening for years. This is not soccer / football this is individual play. Why even bring up another sport. this is how golf has been played for ever in match play. You can always opt out if it’s too tough of a schedule. They are independent contractors, you don’t like it DON’T ENTER.

  18. TWShoot67

    Feb 27, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I have no sympathy for Ian Poulter who puts his foot in mouth at times, I ractually like who his is most of the time a fierce competitor, but sometimes he’s dead wrong. So he has no problem playing the extra 18 holes if it’s for 1 or 2 but not 3 or 4. Funny the day before this Tweet I read something like better coming in 3rd then 4th, now he says it’s first or nothing, that’s Tiger’s line? Of course every player wants to win, but it’s a small % that do. Guess that was a joke I didn’t catch, or that tweet was tongue and cheek. Seriously I know all about where Ian Poulter’s came from. Also part of his story is that he actually lied/cheated filling out card about his handicap to become a Club pro first before getting good enough to become a tour pro. So don’t feel too sad about a guy who lied in game where its all supposed to be about integrity. So not’s not give him all the props some may want to give the guy. I’ll give him props for making it. But you have to have talent not just a want or will yourself to be a touring pro, there’s too many parts of the game you have to be really really good at to become a pro. I personally sat and beat balls for 2 years every single day and never became a pro. i became scratch but not a pro. Just didn’t get the god given talent that some receive.

  19. footwedge

    Feb 27, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    When he entered the tourney he knew there was a chance he might be subjected to the shame and horror of having to play a consolation round, where he would only recieve as little as $400,000 (to play a round of golf).

    Get real

    • Dolph Lundgrenade

      Feb 28, 2013 at 11:47 pm

      He already earned the $400k before he tee’d off in the consolation match. For these players the $100k difference isn’t the deal. The win was the deal and that is over.

      Tied for 3rd is better. Another format for the consolation would be even better. Maybe the 3-6 or 3-8 play some sort of skins match.

  20. footwedge

    Feb 27, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Total whiner, has no idea what a day of hard work really is. He’s complaining about playing a round of golf, of all things, and getting more money than 99.9% of people earn in an entire year.
    Completely distorted sense of reality, sniffling baby.

    • setter02

      Feb 27, 2013 at 3:41 pm

      Do you know anything about Poults? He’s far from silver spoon fed/country club culture like so many other kids grew up into… Give the guy some props who at 17 and a 5 capper decided he was going to become what he is now… Do some research before expressing your opinion… He’s earned the right…

    • Boydeeo

      Feb 27, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      I understand your point that its hard to accept a complaint about this from a guy that makes more money both of us combined without getting out of bed

      Do remember that he did start his career in a local pro shop and you have to beleive he worked is a$$ off to get there.

      Just my 2 cents

  21. Dane

    Feb 27, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    I agree with him…Put the 2 best Junior amateurs on for a second match if they need more golf on tv. That would be more fun to watch than 2 guys that don’t want to be out there.

  22. Kevin

    Feb 27, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    This is the key. The reason he has amassed great wealth without winning wiith great regularity is a result of the large purses from the sponsors and tv deals/exposure. I’m on the fence regarding “Poults”. I admire his visible tenacity in high pressure team and match play situations. I think his attitude should change some when he analyzes his situation and realizes his empire is intertwined with the hand that feeds.

  23. Jerry

    Feb 27, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Nobody wants to play for 3-4, and no one wants to watch it either.

  24. PoloFox

    Feb 27, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    I am sorry but I disagree with him. Sure no one will remember who finished 3rd or 4th but there is a reason why PGA TOUR players get paid what they do. Publicity/Ratings!!! I mean seriously the amount of money he gets paid/wins… He can’t go out and play another 18 holes??? Come on!! I mean he does have FANS that want to watch him right?? Why not do it for them? If he did not want to play he should have dropped out!! End of story and don’t go on social media crying. Not a Poulter fan and this is another good reason why.

  25. Gary Ward

    Feb 27, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    He’s right, the losing semi finalists don’t play off in tennis or in FA cup or champions league or in NFL and no-one complains we don’t know who comes third. Split the money and fed-ex points etc the Tv only uses it to fill between shots on the game everyones wants to see anyway.

  26. larrybud

    Feb 27, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    He may be right, but it’s all about TV. It’s already slow going on TV when there’s only 2 matches going on. Make it 1 match and it’d be a snoozefest.

  27. tom

    Feb 27, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Ian is correct who cares tie for 3rd split cash..

  28. Callaway X Hot

    Feb 27, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Poulter is entitled to his opinion but to me he comes off as a spoiled brat that is upset because he did not win. Come one you’re making millions by playing golf and there may be some hard working folks who paid money to watch you play in the consolation match.

    Suck it up and play.

    • Rob

      Feb 27, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      I agree, Poulter comes off as a baby. If he really had a good argument he could have stated it more maturely. The article does well to point out the importance of the difference between 3rd and 4th, not only for the cash they receive but for season-long points and rankings.

    • Rufiolegacy

      Feb 27, 2013 at 5:44 pm

      A lot of people feel the same way about Poulter, and maybe he is a bit of a brat. However, under the circumstances to get that close through the field and end up not in the finals match. I can understand his frustration.

    • Shark

      Feb 27, 2013 at 9:51 pm

      I disagree. I think he is to be admired as he plays to win. So many get cushy only concerned with cuts and monet (although he does get a knock for winning so rarely… Not sure why?)
      But In a tourney until the last swing you feel you could win… In consolation match you hit first ball knowing you can only do third at best.


    Feb 27, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Why is it so bad when someone states what they believe?? Let him make his point and let him feel the way he wants. It is none of my business.

    • Joey5Picks

      Feb 27, 2013 at 3:58 pm

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion and to make their point. It doesn’t mean others don’t have the right to question it. Bottom line; you have the right to say what you think, but you don’t have the right to do it without repurcussions or blowback.

  30. E-gree

    Feb 27, 2013 at 11:43 am

    I agree with him completely!!!

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Opinion & Analysis

The History of Course Design is Yours to Play at Oglebay



There is a much-talked about “New Golden Age” of golf course design underway that is driven by demand for ever-more spectacular courses at the top end of the resort golf market. Destinations such as Streamsong, Bandon Dunes, Cabot Links, Sand Valley and others provide the traveling golfer a spectacular golf experience; unfortunately, it comes at a price tag that is equally spectacular. When a week playing golf in Florida can cost as much as a week in Scotland, where do you go for a golf getaway that doesn’t require a second mortgage?

Oglebay Golf Resort in Wheeling, West Virginia, doesn’t just provide an affordable golf vacation option; with its three golf courses, it provides players the chance to experience a condensed history of American golf course design through its three courses. The resort sits on land that was once owned by a wealthy industrialist and is now a part of the city park system. Located about an hour from Pittsburgh, Oglebay draws the majority of its golfers from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia. It’s kind of cool that when you drive to Oglebay from the Washington, D.C., you hit all of those states except Ohio, which is just a few minutes away from Wheeling. The area is especially picturesque in the autumn months when the changing colors of the leaves are at their peak.

The property has a rich history in the business and sporting history of West Virginia, but the three golf courses, Crispin, are a special prize that taken together form a primer on the history of golf design in the past 90 years. The 5,670-yard Crispin course is a one-off design by local golf enthusiast Robert Biery that was completed in 1930 and is a fascinating study of design techniques of that era. The slopes and elevation are severe and extreme by today’s standards. A clue was the raised eyebrow of the assistant pro when I said that I would walk the course. Uneven lies are the order of the day, the product of a time when there was neither the money nor equipment readily available to create gentle slopes and even surfaces; the course is true to the original contours of the West Virginia hillside.  There is little relief on the greens, which run a little slower than typical greens but make up for it in size and slope. It is by far the shortest of the three courses but the par-4 8th hole and par-5 9th holes are a thousand yards of joy and pain.

Hole No. 6 at the Klieves course

The Klieves Course is a 6,800-yard, par-71 Arnold Palmer design that was completed in 2000. The design features broad fairways, mildly undulating greens and opportunities for heroics on short par-4’s, all the prototypical characteristics of modern resort golf courses. While some architects choose to torture and torment, Palmer courses put a premium on fun and this one is no exception. The par-5, 515 yard 6th is a great example of the risk/reward available without that challenges the resort golfer without the need to humiliate. The course is very well maintained tee to green, and you’ll want to keep a fully charged battery to take photos of the vistas from the elevated tee boxes.

Hole No. 13 at the Jones course

In my humble opinion, the true gem is the Robert Trent Jones course. The 7,004-yard, par-72 Course carries a healthy 75.1 rating/141 slope from the back tees. It utilizes a gorgeous piece of land that meanders across the West Virginia hills to give a mesmerizing collection of holes that are equal parts scenery and challenge. Both nines start from elevated tee boxes hitting down into valleys that offer classic risk/reward propositions. Usually I have no problem identifying a favorite hole or two, but on this course it’s difficult. Having said that, the stretch of No. 4 (par 3, 193 yards), No. 5 (par-5, 511 yards) and No. 6 (par-4, 420 yards) are among the best I have played anywhere as a show of nature’s beauty and the at of laying out a golf hole. And the four par 3’s are not the place to pic up an easy birdie. The only one less that 190 yards from the tips is the 158-yard 15th, which is protected by a small, undulating green. All in all, it’s a perfect representation of the genius of Robert Trent Jones.

The golf is good at Oglebay and the prices are better. You can get in 18 at the Oglebay courses for as little as $32…on the weekend. And when you’re not playing golf, you can take advantage of the myriad of outdoor sports activities, tour the Oglebay mansion, hit the spa or visit the Glass Museum on the property (I promise it’s a lot more interesting than it sounds). There’s a lot of great new golf resorts out there and that’s a good thing for the golf industry, but destinations like Oglebay prove that there’s a lot of life left in the old classics as well.

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19th Hole