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19th Hole

Chamblee: ‘Ian Poulter is the worst ball-striker at the Ryder Cup…by a lot’



The Ryder Cup gets underway this morning at Whistling Straits, with the foursome pairings announced Thursday evening.

From those fixtures, Brandel Chamblee has questioned the European pairing of Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy, calling the former by far and away the worst ball-striker of the 24 players in Wisconsin.

Speaking on Thursday evening, Chamblee said

“Pairing up Rory McIlroy with Ian Poulter, that’s a gamble. Maybe it pays off. But this is not the same Ian Poulter from 2012 that blitzed the US in that fourth session. 

This is a guy who has only played sparingly over the last couple of Ryder Cups and wasn’t even playing for Europe in 2016. And of the 24 players here, he is the worst ball-striker…by a lot.

While raising his doubts, Chamblee did concede that the Englishman is an excellent putter with the ability to stun at this year’s Ryder Cup. However, the Golf Channel analyst brought up the last time Poulter and Mcilroy teamed up back in 2018 in Paris, where they were defeated 4&3 by Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.

“This is a beefed up golf course. Now, he’s a fabulous putter. We know he can stun. But that’s a bit of a surprise. 

And the last time that duet went out, Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter, was the last team event in the fourth session in Paris and they got run over by Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, incidentally in foursomes play as well.”

Poulter and McIlroy went 1-1 when teamed up together in Paris, and while Chamblee’s comments may upset many fans of Team Europe, Poulter did finish the 2020/21 PGA Tour season ranked 180th in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking. 

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Gianni is the Managing Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected]



  1. Seve's Ghost Cajones

    Sep 29, 2021 at 11:55 pm

    Padraig Harrington had zero imput on this team, he was just a guy they called Captain. Shane Lowry was the one bone he got.

    This cup was never going to be won by the Euros. Italy is going to be another bloodbath for Europe as well. I’m guessing Stricker gets the nod for the road game. Bethpage will be Phil’s year and he’ll get the USA a third consecutive cup victory.

    Then maybe things get interesting as we move to Ireland (Maybe Paddy gets his “second chance”?) and Hazeltine in 2029 feels like a Zach Johnson team. I imagine Zach is in line for a Pres Cup team as well as he gets ready to be inducted into the WGHoF.

  2. Mo

    Sep 28, 2021 at 7:11 am

    To Poulter’s credit he did win his singles match and other teammates didn’t fare much better.
    It was one of Europe’s weakest teams ever vs one of best teams ever.

  3. Brian

    Sep 25, 2021 at 8:24 am

    Just the fact that Padraig chose Poulter over Rose still boggles my mind.

    • Mickey R

      Sep 26, 2021 at 6:32 am

      Padraig Harrington should have let me pick the team it reminds me of the way our National football team is picked. Theres so much talent that could have done a better job thousands to choose from and they pick the same as before with the exception of a few Rahm, Havland,Weisberger

  4. Dikk Hertz from Holden

    Sep 24, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    If Poulter’s handicap were any higher, he’d have an extra chromosome.

  5. Stewart Gemmell

    Sep 24, 2021 at 2:53 pm

    Chamblee is correct here and I’d have gone further myself in that Poulter is a terrible pick in the first place.
    To play him in foursomes is a strange decision to say the least.

    I like Harrington but his picks and pairings don’t look great.

  6. Jack Nash

    Sep 24, 2021 at 9:32 am

    How’s Chumplee’s Ryder Cup record compared to that lousy ball striker Poulters?

    • Reading Comprehension

      Sep 24, 2021 at 11:47 am

      You must not have read the article. He wasn’t comparing RC records. He was stating a fact. “Poulter did finish the 2020/21 PGA Tour season ranked 180th in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking.”

      • GaGolfer

        Sep 25, 2021 at 8:50 pm

        Apparently if don’t have a better record than a golfer you’re commenting on, you can’t comment on them. I guess Jack isn’t providing any more commentary on any golfer, ever.

  7. RichBoston

    Sep 24, 2021 at 9:26 am

    Chamblee is frequently quoted when he really has nothing to say. Like here.

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19th Hole

Euro pro shares priceless Tiger Woods story involving a Portaloo at Oakmont



When you’ve just won the US Amateur, playing alongside defending champion Geoff Ogilvy and Tiger Woods at Oakmont will have been an exciting but daunting prospect.

Nerves would have been jangling as Richie Ramsay teed it up alongside the 2006 WGC Match Play champion and the then 10-time major winner, so imagine unintentionally winding up Tiger, at the time the undisputed King of golf.

Interviewed by DP World Tour’s Life On Tour podcast, the four-time European Tour winner recalled the time he accidentally shook up the number one legend of the modern game, in 2007.

The Scot explains:

“I was playing with Ogilvy and Tiger at Oakmont. Playing with Tiger, I’d never even seen the guy in real life before,” he said.

“It was pretty daunting. There’s a walk through to the 11th tee and it’s a 200-yard walk through trees.”

“I’m lagging behind. I’ve made double bogey,” he continued. “My caddie has gone ahead of me and I’m swinging the putter, and I thought ‘this is not a good idea because I’ve got the putter in my hand and I feel like I just want to throw it away’.”

The tale goes on. “There’s a Portaloo halfway down the walkway and there’s nobody there, and I just rattled this Portaloo with the putter and keep walking.”

“As I walk up to the tee, I look up. I can see Squirrel, who’s Geoff Ogilvy’s caddie, Geoff Ogilvy, Steve Williams, my caddie and no Tiger Woods.”

“I’m like ‘oh f***’. So he comes up and just looks up and I’m at the back trying to hide behind my caddie, because I’ve absolutely rattled this Portaloo and he’s been inside.”

“He must have got the shock of his life.”

Tiger eventually finished level with Jim Furyk in second place at 6-over, one shot behind eventual winner Angel Cabrera.

Clearly that year, Oakmont was brutal in more than one way!

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19th Hole

Serena Williams reveals the advice from Tiger that inspired her to play the US Open before retiring



Serena Williams and Tiger Woods have been the dominant force in their respective sports since breaking onto the scene in the mid to late ’90s.

Williams, now 40, has amassed 23 tennis grand slam titles (the most of any male or female player in the Open era), while Woods, 46,  with his 82 PGA Tour titles and 15 slams, has always been head and shoulders above the rest.

While Woods has vowed to continue his competitive golfing career, despite injuries now severely hampering him, Serena this week announced that she would be “evolving away from tennis”, with the US Open at Flushing Meadows to be her last tournament.

In her retirement announcement in an essay for Vogue, Williams revealed that she may not have played the US Open, that begins at the end of the month, if it were not for Tiger, who she leaned on for advice ahead of her retirement.

“This spring, I had the itch to get back on the court for the first time in seven months.” began Williams, “I was talking to Tiger Woods, who’s a friend, and I told him I needed his advice on my tennis career. I said, ‘I don’t know what to do: I think I’m over it, but maybe I’m not over it.’ He’s Tiger, and he was adamant that I be a beast the same way he is! 

He said, ‘Serena, what if you just gave it two weeks? You don’t have to commit to anything. You just go out on the court every day for two weeks and give it your all and see what happens.’ I said, ‘All right, I think I can do that.’ And I didn’t do it. But a month later, I gave it a try. It felt magical to pick up a racket again. And I was good. I was really good. I went back and forth about whether to play Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open after that. As I’ve said, this whole evolution thing has not been easy for me.”

Serena didn’t play for a year due to a hamstring injury before returning to the grass this summer.

Considering this Tweet from her back in 2019 when Tiger won the Masters, it’s no surprise that the 15-time major champ’s words have inspired her to empty the tank before calling it a day.

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19th Hole

‘To play an event like this is a dream for me’ – Patrick Reed on this week’s Asian Tour event



One of the main reasons given by players moving from the PGA Tour to the LIV series was to allow more time between events, to be at home more often, and to have the freedom to choose which events to play throughout the season.

In the last week or so, we have seen 11 LIV golfers serve a lawsuit on the PGA Tour and subsequently receive an in-depth reply and denial of charges. Three of the 11 – Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford – have since seen their application for a Temporary Restraining Order denied by the courts, therefore being unable to play in the first (or following) FedEx play-off events, starting on Thursday.

2018 Masters champion, Patrick Reed, has had his many controversies over the years and after agreeing to sign for the LIV series, spoke of how it allowed him more free time.

“On top of it, just the quality of life for us as players now, having less events, being able to spend more time at home with the family,” was an admirable take by Reed.

“If you have kids, being able to spend time with your children, and not sitting there and having to play three, four weeks in a row, then have a week off, and during that week off you’re preparing, trying to get ready for the next week.”

Great, hard to argue with that notion.

Yet, here he is, just a couple of months later, playing the LIV-backed International Series Singapore before taking in a similar event in Korea, just a few days later, surely not giving much time to jet home and spend more time with Justine and the kids.

Having dropped to #46 in the world rankings, and with no OWGR points currently awarded to LIV events, Reed is in danger of slipping out of the top-50 and losing the considerable privileges that come with it – that is if the leading organizations do eventually allow all LIV players to compete.

With the backing of LIV Golf, but not an exclusive event, the Asian Tour events do carry OWGR points. However, as the official world ranking site shows, winning here will not make a tremendous deal of difference to the standings, the eventual champion receiving around 7.5 points compared with 69 points for the winner at St. Jude and nearly 15 at the DP World Tour event in Northern Ireland.

Reed doesn’t see that as an issue, saying that, “World ranking points always help, but at the end of the day, for me, coming over here, I’d heard great things about this place.

“And coming in, I knew I wanted to play a little bit after the last event we played in Bedminster, and it fit the schedule.

“For me, it’s more about travelling and playing golf and trying to grow the game around the world–and not just staying at home and playing at home. I have always loved traveling and playing, so to play an event like this is a dream for me.”

Once out in the mainstream, there was, of course, plenty of social media reaction.

Responding to a tweet by @BunkeredOnline, one user commented, “Wow….that seems strange, given his reasons for joining LIV. “He asserted that being on the road and away from his kids, the possibility that he wasn’t being a good dad, was beginning to affect his play.” Hopefully, sometime in Asia will help with those issues!”

Opinions come and go. What the majority are calling for is the honest answer to why the players are making the choices they are.

With the legal moves in process and still to come, this could get even nastier than it has already.

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