by Jeff Skinner
Ian Poulter is finally showing that he has the game to back up that boastful mouth of his. In 2008 Poulter said that he was the only one with enough talent to challenge Tiger Woods. While Poulter has been a good player he failed to play up to his swagger and a Woods/Poulter showdown never materialized.
Things may be about to change. Woods has come down to the level of a mere mortal and Poulter has refined his game and hardened his will of late. His win at the Hong Kong Open is his tenth career win on The European Tour. Combine that performance with his Ryder Cup record and his 2010 WGC Match Play Championship and you have a player to be reckoned with on both tours.
Poulter had an amazing week in Hong Kong. He flirted with the magical 59 in the second round and ended up with a sizzling 60. He followed that with a 67 in the third round and was able to hold off the assault by Simon Dyson and Matteo Manaserro.
Having learned his lesson, Poulter chose not to talk of being the world number one. “I’m not playing the game saying, ‘I’m going to get to No 1’. I tried that once before and it didn’t work. I think I’ll just try winning next week and see how high I can go. Tiger has dropped a lot of points. (Lee) Westwood is world No 1. If I keep playing well, then who knows?”
This former pro shop professional may be ready to make his move into the upper elite of professional golf. We all know his has the ego, now it looks like he just might have the game.