Ian Poulter Suffers Terrible Mistake
By Kickntrue on 11/29/10
Ian Poulter didn't win this weekend.
Sizing up a 30-foot putt in the playoff, Poulter dropped his ball on his marker, moving it and incurring a one-stroke penalty that effectively gave the victory to Sweden's Robert Karlsson.

The bizarre turn of events Sunday at the $7.5 million, season-ending tournament was the climax of a day which saw as many as four players challenging England's Poulter for the lead. The 41-year-old Karlsson caught Poulter with a dramatic birdie on the 18th hole after he chipped within a few feet of the pin.


He described afterward how the ball slipped from his hand and fell two or three inches onto the marker -- a lucky coin featuring his children's names -- causing it to flip over and move from its original position.

"The coin was one way and the next minute facing the other way," Poulter said. "It's pitched right on the front and flipped over. If it pitches in the middle, the coin doesn't move and it's fine. But it's pitched on the front and it's flipped over."

Poulter spotted his error and reported it to the match referee, whose ruling left him with a long putt for par instead of a birdie. The putt came up a foot short, taking all the pressure off Karlsson as he then had two shots to clinch the victory.
I know I rail on the rules of golf a good bit- but this one is somewhere in the middle of stupid and sane. Moving a marker seems like an offense certainly worth a penalty... you know, when it's CHEATING. Dropping a ball, especially from 2 or 3 inches, seems a little ridiculous, though. The coin flipped- what are we talking about here, centimeters? Plus- he would've known exactly where it was.

If your ball is on the green- and someone hits it with their ball- you get to replace your ball. You think in that case the ball is going back EXACTLY where it was? Of course not. Heck- it probably didn't change his actual ball position more than an average person just marking and replacing their ball on a marker.

I know what Poulter is feeling. Last night- I was excited to apply a $25 iTunes gift card to my account. I couldn't find a coin- and I didn't want to dirty my fingernail- so I found another object to scratch off the back of the card to see my code. In doing so- it dug into the actual card and scraped off the redeemable algorithm rendering my gift card- and my money spent on it completely wasted. I thought I had $25, and the next thing I know- a stupid mistake (that wasn't technically a mistake) cost me my money. See- me and Ian are exactly alike! Sucks to me us this morning!

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[ comments ]
bkuehn1952 says:
I agree that there are too many picky rules. If there is a silver lining for Ian Poulter's mental health, it is that Karlsson made his birdie so the tournament was not completely kicked away by the penalty.

As for the iTunes card, try contacting Apple. They might have some ideas as to how to replace the card or retrieve the code.
birdieXris says:
I didn't see this happen, but then again -- that's why i watch golf central at every waking moment. I saw it there and i have only one question: At what point are you deemed to have begun marking the ball. If it moves in the process of marking or replacing his ball, he doesn't incur a penalty. In my mind, he was on his way to replace the ball and it fell. I mean, technically he shouldn't have had a penalty. They said this is another one of the rules the PGA seems to have to revisit and make certain they're doing things right. I think they just need to make it a little more clearcut. I suppose technically from the moment you reach your hand into your pocket to get the ball you're "in the act of replacing" right? any thoughts on this one?
bkuehn1952 says:
I suspect the problem Poulter had was that he accidentally dropped the ball. It was not his intent to replace his ball by dropping it. As such, the act of dropping the ball was not directly attributable to his replacing the ball. I don't like the rule but it seems that may be the way it was interperted.
Kickntrue says:
@bkuehn1952- I read it as the actual "penalty" being that his ball moved the ball marker. the movement of the ball marker was the penalty- nothing else. If you reach in your pocket and drop the ball on to the green- i think you're fine... unless of course your partner decides to accuse you of "testing the conditions" of said green... jeez!
bkuehn1952 says:
@kickntrue - Yes, I agree that merely dropping the ball is not a penalty. The fact that it moved the marker is the penalty.
legitimatebeef says:
Whoa, Karlsson is 41??? I assumed he was in his mid 30s. He must take good care of himself.

Even though Poulter did not win, he is playing out of his mind as of late. Watching the early rounds of Dubai I was really impressed with the way he was striking the ball. He is strutting round the course with loads of confidence too, that prick.
SweetJazz says:
Movement of the ball marker is the issue here. Sucks for Poulter but it is not as bad as what happened to Dustin Johnson at the 2010 PGA.
BarryRhodes says:

Are you familiar with the Decisions on the Rules of Golf? They are available online at www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Rules-and-
Decision 20-1/15 spells out exactly what 'directly attributable' means in relation to marking/replacing the ball and makes it very clear-cut as to why Ian Poulter incurred the penalty.

You can read more about this incident and other miscellaneous content on the Rules of Golf at my blog; www.barryrhodes.com

Barry Rhodes
jbird2011 says:
Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy! :)
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