Ian Poulter was again asked about being booed. Then he had questions of his own
Ian Poulter was asked a question. Then he had a few of his own.
The golfer-golf reporter flip-flop came Saturday, two days after TV mics picked up boos when Poulter was introduced ahead of his Open Championship first round at St. Andrews, though, afterward, he denied hearing any hisses. Poulter went on to make the cut, and after he shot a two-under 70 during the third round, the Englishman was asked about his crowd support.
What followed was this exchange, which is shared in its entirety.
Reporter: “Playing this course, the crowd, what’s the most, sort of support-wise, the most fun part of it?”
Poulter: “To be honest, every hole has been great. We’ve had, because of the way the golf course shapes itself, they’re kind of one side or the other side the whole way out and the whole way back in. You only allow them to come in around the loop, where they can kind of get in and have some food and stand in the stand. But the support’s been amazing.
“I mean, a lot of fans. I’m not sure of the numbers, but I would think it’s almost record numbers.”
Reporter: “Felt like you personally were getting a lot of crowd support. Was that something you noticed particularly? It must be quite welcome after people talking about you getting booed on the opening day?”
Poulter: “Are we still talking about it?”
Reporter: “I was walking with you today.”
Poulter: “Did you hear one bad comment?”
Reporter: “No, I heard a lot of good ones. That’s why I’m asking.”
Poulter: “I’m asking you a question, did you hear one bad one?”
Poulter: “No, OK. So it’s amazing how we still talk about one person that’s 100 yards down the 1st, where there’s conveniently a microphone positioned way down halfway down the stand and some young guy says boo, and it comes over on the TV. And you all assume I’m being booed on the course.
“You just walked, [reporter] Phil Casey walked 17 holes on day one. He’s not here, but he was standing here the other day. And the 17 holes he walked, there was not one comment. There was not one boo. If you guys continue to write that there are people and there’s negative comments and there’s boos, then unfortunately that’s not a true reflection of exactly what happened.
“So it would be really nice if people like yourself, I don’t know your name.”
Poulter: “Andy, would actually write the truth, that we’re getting quite a lot of support out there on the golf course because it would just be nice. It would be a fair reflection of actually what’s happening, rather than this continual press of let’s lead down the path of players being booed who have joined the LIV tour. Let’s just say that, right? Fair, respectful, honest journalism would be great because it would be the truth.”
The questioning then changed.
Were there boos for Poulter, who recently joined the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series? Yes, and even longtime pro turned analyst Sam Torrance noted that on the broadcast. Though, there were also cheers.
Poulter’s response follows similar comments from Lee Westwood, another player who recently joined LIV. On Thursday, a reporter wondered if Westwood considered that this year’s reception could have been different, given Westwood’s departure for LIV, to which the Englishman responded: “No, I don’t think it had the potential. I think the media are stoking it up and doing as much as they can to aid that. I think the general public just want to go out there and see good golf no matter where it’s being played or who’s playing it.”
As for Poulter, he said Saturday he hasn’t been reading “any rubbish in the press this week, which has been unusual for me to not read it.”
“I’ve deliberately not read it, yeah, but just listening to some of the questioning is quite funny,” he said.