BMW PGA Championship
Ian Poulter wears LIV-related logo, says there’s ‘nothing in it’ regarding viral video with Billy Horschel
VIRGINIA WATER, England — In the wake of the reception he received on the first tee at Wentworth for his opening round at the BMW PGA Championship—a mixture of mild applause and boos—LIV golfer Ian Poulter was in a mood to tell the world that he wasn’t in a mood to talk.
“There's been a lot of petty comments in the last few weeks and I'm not going to comment on them,” he said.
Specifically, Poulter insisted he had nothing to say about the viral eve-of-tournament conversation he had with arch LIV critic Billy Horschel on the practice green.
Well, apart from the following that is:
“I have no problem with Billy,” said Poulter, who shot an opening three-under-par 69, five shots off the lead of Tommy Fleetwood and Andy Sullivan. “All these [players] out here, I have been friendly with for a really long time. So let’s draw a line between personal and business. It’s really easy to have a level-headed conversation with someone when you respect them, even though you have a difference of opinion. That’s fine. I can still be somebody’s friend.
“That’s the nice thing about this game we play, and it will be a sad time if people let it spill over and take friendships away,” Poulter continued. “That would be sad. We had a lovely chat the night before for an hour, outside the front of the hotel. There’s nothing in it. Billy is quite an animated guy, and I am, too. He has strong opinions, and I normally do, too, so you can tell how that would look on camera.”
Next up, Poulter was asked about the state of his relationship with Rory McIlroy. Earlier this week, the Northern Irishman publicly re-stated his opposition to the presence of LIV players in the DP World Tour’s flagship event, and noted “I wouldn't say I've got much of a relationship with them at the minute” when asked about where he stood with some of his former Ryder Cup teammates.
“I am not playing the clickbait game of ‘he said, she said,’” said Poulter, who played alongside McIlroy in five Ryder Cups. “I am just not doing it. I don’t need to. I know where I stand with him, so it’s fine. I’m not playing the game.”
Something else Poulter is not doing this week is using the Wentworth locker room. And, just so everyone knows, he really isn’t going to comment on comments.
“I never, ever used this locker room in all my years I've been here,” he claimed. “I don't have to go in there. I've spoken to the guys [fellow players] a lot in the last number of months, none of whom seemed to have a problem with me at my age making the decision that I've made. So I’m not going to comment on people's comments on ‘socials’ and in front of [the press]. I’m not going to play the click-bait game. I'm just not playing it.”
What Poulter is going to continue doing is wearing his LIV Golf gear. The 12-time DP Tour winner is a member of the “Majesticks” team and that logo, despite a request from chief executive, Keith Pelley, is featuring on Poulter’s left sleeve.
“I've had a lot of different branded shirts in the last number of weeks,” Poulter said. “This is a business that I actually own part of, so it has a right to be there. I have only got Majesticks with me. I can't possibly go to the embroiderers and have another set made up for this week. I am here for three weeks. I'm traveling, so this was the set I brought.”
Apart from all that, everything is apparently fine in Poulter’s world. This is a man who feels, in spite of everything, that he belongs in and adds to any DP World Tour event, albeit “not as much as some, more than others.”
“You can go and have a chat with DP World, BMW and the sponsors that I know, plus the fans, and ask them,” he said. “I know because I have spoken to these guys. I think it goes without saying, when you have played 380 tournaments, seven Ryder Cups and had numerous wins out here.”
And that is all he had to say.