PGA Defector Ian Poulter Thumbs Nose at DP Tour by Wearing LIV Golf Logo
Poulter shot a 3-under 69 while repping his LIV team during the first round of the BMW PGA Championship
A day after American PGA Tour player Billy Horschel said he didn’t think members of the LIV Golf Series should be playing at the DP World Tour’s BMW PGA Championship in England this week, Englishman Ian Poulter hit the links at the Wentworth Club wearing his support for the Saudi-backed circuit on his sleeve, literally.
Poulter, who had a spirited interaction with Horschel on Wednesday on the practice green that was captured on video and went viral, arrived at the BMW PGA Championship wearing a logo for his LIV golf team, the Majesticks, on his left sleeve despite PGA European Tour CEO Keith Pelley’s request that LIV defectors not wear any clothing advertising their new employer.
“This is a business that I actually own part of, so it has a right to be there,” Poulter said of his clothing choice. “I have had about six different sets of clothes in the last five weeks. I can’t possibly go to the embroiderers and have another set made up for this week. I am here for three weeks. I’m traveling, so this was the set I brought.”
One of 18 LIV players in the field at the DP World Tour’s flagship event, Poulter was greeted with a mixture of cheers and boos as he began his opening round at the BMW PGA Championship. The reaction didn’t seem to affect the 46-year-old much either way and he began the tournament with a 3-under 69, five shots off the pace of leaders Tommy Fleetwood and Andy Sullivan. Poulter was also seemingly unfazed by his interaction with Horschel.
“I have no problem with Billy,” Poulter said. “All these [players] out here, I have been friendly with for a really long time. So let’s draw a line between personal and business. It’s really easy to have a level-headed conversation with someone when you respect them, even though you have a difference of opinion. That’s fine. I can still be somebody’s friend. That’s the nice thing about this game we play, and it will be a sad time if people let it spill over and take friendships away. That would be sad. We had a lovely chat the night before for an hour, outside the front of the hotel. There’s nothing in it. Billy is quite an animated guy, and I am, too. He has strong opinions, and I normally do, too, so you can tell how that would look on camera.”
As for the thought that there’s any sort of bad blood between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, Poulter was not in the mood to speculate. “There’s been a lot of petty comments in the last few weeks and I’m not going to comment on them,” he said. “I’m not going to play the clickbait game. I’m just not playing it. I’m here to win and that’s that.”
Not with an opening-round 69.
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