Ian Poulter Stuns in Houston to Gain Masters Invite

by Maura Hutchinson

It is the stuff great movies are made of.  English golfer and Ryder Cup legend, Ian Poulter did what no one thought was possible on Sunday, winning the Houston Open in a last ditch effort to qualify for this week’s Master Tournament.

It was only last weekend at the WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play that Poulter was told he had done enough to warrant an invite to the Masters. Just hours later the 42-year-old was informed the media had made a mistake and he would be missing out on the first major of 2018 by three-hundredths of a point and one world ranking. Unsurprisingly, the misinformation left Poulter feeling exhausted and frustrated.

With only one option left to get to Augusta – to win the Houston Open – Poulter confided that he wasn’t sure he would even be up it. Telling reporters, “I’m tired. It’s been a long week. It’s been a draining week.”

When the Titleist player did decide to play in Houston his first round results seemed to suggest he should’ve stayed home. After carding a 73 on Thursday, Poulter started the second round on Friday in 123rd place and had his bags packed to go that night. But something clicked and Poulter went on to deliver arguably the three greatest rounds of his life.

Twenty-one birdies later Poulter finished in tie for first before landing a 20-foot putt to beat Beau Hossler on the first playoff hole. Producing the greatest comeback in a PGA Tournament for 35 years and proving he is still deserving of “The Postman” nickname.

“Last week was painful,” Poulter explained after his win on Sunday. “To come here this week I was tired and frustrated. I had packed my bags to leave on Friday night, and had a mental switch.”

Adding, “I was patient, I waited my time and this is amazing. I haven’t won a strokeplay event in the United States before and to do it this week is amazing.”

Poulter’s win in Houston is he first since November 2012 but the 42-year-old is hopeful that it won’t be his last and is thoroughly looking forward to making his 13th Masters appearance on Thursday.

“The journey continues,” said Poulter. “I’ve had 19 good years on TOUR and I guess I’ve got another couple coming. So there’s life in the old dog yet.”

Here’s a look at the clubs Poulter used to win the Houston Open, including his “Miracle of Medinah” putter from the 2012 Ryder Cup:

Driver: Titleist 917D2
Fairway Woods: Titleist 917F2
Hybrid: Titleist 818H2
Irons: Titleist 716 T-MB; Titleist 718 AP2
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7
Putter: Odyssey #7
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Shoes: FootJoy Pro SL