This weekend saw the release of the golf world rankings and it set off alarm bells for Ian Poulter. The Englishman had dropped out of the world top 50 and was forced to make a last minute trip to play in the Hong Kong Open. To play in the European Ryder Cup team you need to play at least 13 European tour events a year, Poulter was one shy of that after failing to qualify for the WGC HSBC in Shanghai.
Players have to give two weeks notice if they wish to play in a tournament or rely on a sponsor’s invite. Poulter made some calls and managed to bypass both of these requirements thanks to one man who offered him his place…
Rich Beem, winner of the 2002 PGA championship and part-time analyst, has offered Poulter his spot in the tournament to help him sidestep the other requirements. Having just managed to get a visa and passport sorted 2-hours before the flight, Poulter will arrive the night before he is due to tee off.
Of course we’re being slightly provocative by calling him a ‘traitor’, but you can bet your bottom dollar fellow American Patrick Reed would lose an arm before helping the Europeans. Reed is also playing at the event and as the Daily Telegraph suggests, “may well ask countryman Beem if his generosity was entirely necessary”.
I for one will be shocked if ‘Pat the t***’ Reed is capable of showing that much diplomacy. He is a notoriously prickly customer and is even better known for his unrelenting appetite for match play success.
Poulter has an exceptional Ryder Cup record. If you look at all the golfers who have played in at least 15 matches (he has played in 18), his 0.72 winning record is the greatest of all time. You read correctly, Poulter isn’t just any player, he is one of the most dominating Ryder Cup players in history.
Now I ask you to consider what Beem has done. Certainly a gracious act of high virtue, but i’m sure a few eyebrows will be raised about his big favour to Europe.