After admitting being in “No Man’s Land” less than a week ago, Ian Poulter can now plan a full season schedule after the PGA Tour admitted a money list calculating error thereby affording both he and American Brian Gay full Tour membership for the remainder of the season.
Poulter and Gay were competing this year under “Major Medical Exemption” status following each being out injured for a big part of last year.
But when Poulter fell short last week in San Antonio of earning the required points it meant the European Ryder Cup winning star lost Tour playing privileges, with Poulter revealing he since endured a tirade of abuse on social media.
However, the Tour released a statement yesterday in New Orleans, venue for the Zurich Classic, stating that both Poulter and Gay were being handed immediate full membership.
In part, the Tour stated, “It seems that the change to the FexEx Cup Points Curve unintentionally made it more difficult for these players (Poulter and Gay) to retain their exempt status”.
Poulter, who had been advised of the decision after Fridays second round was clearly a relieved golfer post day three in New Orleans.
He said, “It is a big bit of good news as I was not aware of the FedEx points deduction being that significant. I am informed it had been brought to the Tour’s attention a couple of days ago realising Brian and myself had, in fact, earned enough points from the 2016 season and that we were devalued from the opportunities we had last year in 2016.”
“So, the recalculation of the points puts us both in a slightly better situation and for the Tour to be unanimous in making this decision puts me personally in a better situation so that I can now play a full schedule without any uncertainty of where I can play.”
“It now means I can just go and concentrate on a schedule and it should also make it easier for me to play golf as I was kind of in no man’s land, not knowing whether you are going to play golf, and it was tough and very hard to book anything”
“The news did come as a surprise given it was an oversight on the Tour’s part and given I was under an enormous amount of pressure to play golf.”
That pressure, as Poulter revealed, has included a tirade of abuse on social media.
“There was a lot of tricky media questions the last month and I have been subjected also to some social media abuse, so it has been tough, withthe last month hard to deal with,” he said.
“Hopefully this might quiet down some of the interesting people on social media and I will not have to block so many people.”
And while Poulter spoke of his relief, long-time caddy, Terry Mundy, was looking on in a new part-time manager’s role after being side-lined again at this week’s event with a continuing back injury.
Poulter said, “Even though Terry can’t physically caddy for me, it is great to still have him on board working with Team Poulter. We’re been together for 11-years and that is a long time but hopefully Terry can get soon get back to what he does so well.”