Ian Poulter: The Fall and Rise of Match Play's Upset King

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IMay 23, 2011

Ian Poulter had a lot to shout about on Sunday.
Ian Poulter had a lot to shout about on Sunday.Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Ian Poulter has always wanted to surpass Tiger Woods.

He's getting close. The brash Englishman put on a simply amazing show this past weekend at this wonderful place on the coast of Spain called Finca Cortesin. What transpired over there, in an amazing setting where the sea meets the mountains, was Poulter proving that when you fall, you have to get right back up and get after it.

If you missed this one, you missed a good one. Poulter battled Luke Donald, the match-play machine who looked simply unbeatable as he worked his way to the finals to go up against Poulter, who has no problem with showmanship.

You want more colorful players in golf? Well, Poulter makes colorful look shy.

The amazing moment at the Volvo World Match Play on Sunday came at the par five eighth hole when Poulter winged an errant second shot into some hillside bushes. What transpired after that was hilarious.

Poulter spent a good amount of time bantering with the gallery. He had them in stitches and had them wondering how good or bad it would go, as the cocky one tried to extract his golf ball with a baseball swing from a tangled mess that Houdini might have problems with.

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Prince Popycock took a swipe at his ball, moved it about three feet and deeper into the underbrush. Then he promptly fell backwards, lost his balance and tumbled about on his keyster, about six feet to the cart path where officials and bystanders helped him to his feet.

Undeterred, Poulter started walking, looked at Donald down in the fairway and pointed to the next tee.

Best concession you've ever seen.

At that point Donald went 1-up and you'd think Poulter might have been a bit shaken by it all.


He simply won the next hole to square the match at the turn and also discovered that he had lost his lucky ball marker when he took that tumble. It slipped from his pocket and a European Tour staffer was actually dispatched to the scene to hunt for the coin.

Not sure if they ever found it.

But how lucky could it be?  It was the same coin that hit his golf ball in Dubai and earned him a penalty after it moved his golf ball.

Couldn't be that lucky, as Poulter went on to beat Donald and deny him yet another shot at No. 1. Poulter has moved up to No. 14 in the world, only two spots shy of Woods, who has dropped to 12.

As for the lucky ball marker?

There is no truth to the rumors that Tiger Woods was spotted there looking for it later in the evening after the crowds departed.


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