Ian Poulter went from not being in the Players to nearly winning the PGA Tour's flagship event over the span of a couple of weeks. And his T-2 netted him the second-biggest paycheck of his career. But what should have been solely a feel-good story took a different turn when a couple of former tour players criticized his course strategy down the stretch.
Trailing eventual winner Si Woo Kim by two shots on the par-5 16th hole, Poulter opted to lay up from 228 yards out in the right rough. Two-time Players champ Steve Elkington immediately ripped Poulter on Twitter for "playing for 2nd" and that he "never thought about trying to win."
Later that evening, Golf Channel's Brandel Chamblee questioned the layup as well as Poulter's conservative approach shots on 16 and 17 (In other words, he did his job as a golf analysis). "It's a fine shot," Chamblee said of Poulter's tee shot to the middle of the 17th green, "didn't cost himself any money, didn't cost him any world ranking points, but he clearly did not play to win . . . and he didn't."
Chamblee's comments caused Poulter to snap back on Twitter and reveal Chamblee had previously blocked him. But at his Wednesday press conference ahead of the AT&T Byron Nelson, Poulter didn't feel like talking about it anymore.
Actually, Poulter didn't even let Sobel finish his question about whether he was surprised by all the criticism before responding. Here's the full quote:
"Not talking about it. Not interested. Not interested. I have no interest in feeding the fire. Not interested."
Sobel kept trying to ask, but to no avail. "I'm not interested. At all. I play to win, end of story. But good try. Really, good try."
Poulter got his point across. There were no more tries of any kind to get him to talk about it.