Mexico Open at Vidanta

Vidanta Vallarta

The Loop

Days later, Poulter revisits rules miscue

November 30, 2010

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Ian Poulter was on the practice range at Sherwood CC Tuesday morning demonstrating the freakish nature of the penalty that cost him a chance to win the Dubai World Championship Sunday.

The garrulous Englishman incurred a one-stroke penalty when in the course of replacing his ball on the putting green he inadvertently dropped it on his specially-made platinum ball marker -- his "lucky" coin -- causing it to move. That made his 40-foot birdie putt into a par putt, which he missed. Robert Karlsson sank a 4-footer for birdie that made the penalty moot, but it was yet another bizarre ending to a golf tournament in a year full of odd conclusions.

"I don't think I could do it again if I tried," Poulter said while taking a break from a practice session. To prove it, he did try, tossing a golf ball at the quarter-sized coin a dozen times before he finally managed to make it flip over as it did Sunday at the European Tour's season-ending event. "You can see how ridiculous it is that I could drop it just so and make it move. But it happened."

A jeweler in Phoenix made the coin for the No. 8 player in the world following his victory in the Accenture Match Play Championship in February. The platinum coin is thicker than a normal U.S. coin and features the diamond-encrusted names of his three children, Aimee, Libby and Luke.

Poulter said he hasn't lost any sleep over the incident. "I slept 11 hours last night," he volunteered. "Because of where it was and when it happened and what it meant it couldn't have happened at a worse time. It put a real focus on another ridiculous rule. But I'm fine with it. Now if the situation had been reversed and I'd have had the 4-footer to win, that could have been an ugly finish. I might still not be talking to anyone."

-- *Dave Shedloski