by Jeff Skinner
Everything is “tickety boo” at The Masters, at least it is for Englishmen Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter. Tickety-boo is British slang for fine or excellent and as they sit tied for first place going into the third round they would agree that things are just tickety-boo. Both Westwood and Poulter are interesting stories each having faced their own obstacles during their careers. They are the standard bearers for the resurgence in English golf.
Westwood was on his way to being the best English golfer since Nick Faldo when he claimed the European Tour’s Order of Merit Title (leading money winner) in 2000. But the next few years saw him spend more time enjoying his status than practicing to maintain it. He lost his ability to win and fell well down the world golf rankings. The past few years Westwood has rededicated himself to his physical fitness and his golf game. The hard work has paid off as he won the money list on the Euro Tour last year and has missed out on being in the playoffs of two majors by one shot. He has made a magnificent comeback and is ready to win at Augusta and every time he plays this year.
Ian Poulter is literally one of the most colorful players on tour. But, don’t think this guy can’t play. He has worked his way up to number seven in the world rankings. His breakthrough PGA Tour victory at the WGC Match Play along with his nine worldwide victories are proof he is the real deal. He has come a long way from working at a golf shop at fourteen and spending years as an assistant pro running a pro shop in England. He wasn’t looked on as the most skilled golfer early in his career but all his hard work and his positive attitude have transformed him into one of the world’s elite.
When the two tee off today Poulter might be trying to win a few bucks back from Westwood. “He took a few dollars off me the other day, so I would like to get some back,” he said referring to a practice round at Augusta. They both will be looking for more than a few dollars the next two days. A win at Augusta doesn’t just make your year, it changes your life.
The Masters prides itself on promoting golf and featuring a field of top level international golfers each year they gather at Augusta. This year is no different. Seven different countries are represented throughout the top twenty golfers on the Masters leaderboard.