By John Strege
KAPALUA, Hawaii -- The Ryder Cup has come to define Ian Poulter, who would rather define himself and adamantly would do so in broader terms.
"Ryder Cup, that's the first thing in their mind," he said, of how others would identify him. "But my golf over the years has been good enough -- two WGC [World Golf Championship] victories, 13, 14 others. I tweeted somewhat this morning when there was an article put out there that Ian Poulter has two PGA Tour wins and no majors. They seem to forget 14 other tournaments won around the world. That's a little frustrating."
His Tweet referenced a slight that wasn't. It came in a story by Shane Bacon on Yahoo! Sports, headlined, "What to expect in 2013." Poulter was among those about whom Bacon wrote, in a flattering manner at that. Bacon concluded with this: "I like Poulter to win multiple times in '13 and I see him contending at both Augusta National and the Open Championship."
For each of the players cited, Bacon listed identical brief biographical information: Age, number of PGA Tour victories and number of major championships. Poulter, who will turn 37 next week, has two PGA Tour victories, including the WGC-HSBC Champions late last year that earned him an invitation here. He has not won a major.
"[Bleep] report apparently 14 wins everywhere else around the world don't count. Just 2 on PGATour," he wrote on Twitter.
It all counts, of course, his two WGC, 10 European Tour, two Asian Tour, one Japan Golf Tour and one PGA Tour of Australasia victories (and his stirring role in European Ryder Cup victories). But the fact he felt slighted seems to reflect to a degree his own career analysis, that his resume is incomplete, notwithstanding his saying that "I'm really happy with it.
"I would like to win a major. That's the next big thing," he said. "Am I just perceived as a Ryder Cup goliath? I don't know. It was pretty good is what it was...I've underachieved, in my eyes. I don't think I've done enough. I definitely think there's a lot of room for improvement. I started late in golf so I've got a few good years left."
That would be to golf's benefit, for what Poulter ought to be defined by, in addition to the Ryder Cup, is his ability to entertain. There's never a dull moment, as the slight that wasn't demonstrates.