Trailing by two shots and with only 228 yards to the green on the par-5 16th, Ian Poulter had to go for it. . . right? Not so fast. Poulter's ball sat in the rough, prompting him to lay up.
It also prompted Steve Elkington to react. And the two-time Players champ didn't hold back.
Elkington doubled down on his opinion minutes later.
Poulter wound up making par on the hole. He parred 17 then had an adventurous bogey on 18 to shoot 71 and finish T-2 with Louis Oosthuizen.
It's possible the lie was worse than it looked. It's also possible that in second place by two shots at the time he was playing it safe to ensure a big paycheck. But with this week's runner-up getting $1.134 million (Poulter and Oosthuizen wound up making $924,000) could you really blame him?
Poulter's unusual situation this week has been well documented. He was only in the field at TPC Sawgrass after fellow PGA Tour pro Brian Gay caught a technicality/miscalculation in a policy regarding golfers playing on major medical extensions. So on one hand, Poulter was playing with house money. On the other hand, he was still playing for a LOT of money.