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. 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!!!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

    • 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.

  7. 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….

  8. 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.

    • 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Ridiculous.
    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

    • 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.

  13. 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.

    • 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…

    • 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.