The Houston Open. The proverbial “last chance for romance”. For golfers on the PGA Tour if you can win this tournament and you haven’t qualified for The Masters yet… this is your last chance for another year. A chance to make the stroll down Magnolia Lane and battle for the Green Jacket and a place in the history books.
History. This is a busy week and we have no time to waste so let’s get right to it. What can you say about Ian Poulter? The brash Englishman that you either love or hate. Honestly, I had no issue with Ian Poulter and liked him a lot. Until my first PGA Show where he was finishing up at a booth and there was nobody around. There were two 6-8 year olds there that were patiently waiting for a chance to approach Ian. As things wrapped up he blew them off in a way like I haven’t seen. Or at least since being blown off by a girl I liked during my eighth grade graduation dance. Putting incident aside.
Earlier this evening I was thinking of the term “grinding” and how it relates to golf. I’ve used it for myself and you see others use the term too. By definition grinding is this. Grinding is being knocked down and never losing sight of the top. Grinding is being at your lowest but you know that you can’t quit. Grinding is hurting every day and night yet you find the wherewithal to keep pursuing your goals or dreams. Grinding is keeping your head down and forging on, Essentially, this sums up Ian Poulter’s journey to the 2018 Masters.
His path is remarkable and it will be one of the memorable stories from the 2018 PGA Tour season. On the 72nd hole Poulter drained a clutch putt to force a playoff with 23-year-old Beau Hossler which is amazing in its own right because after the first round Poulter was sitting “comfortably” in 123rd place. So into a playoff Poulter and Hossler go and Poulter emerges victorious alone. This feat at the Houston Open was historic in that it had been 35 years since someone was as low as 123rd place after the first round to come back and win. The prior week in Austin, Texas at the WGC Dell Match Play Poulter on the strength of his “Medinah Putter’ reached the quarter-final. Poulter was informed at this point that he had done enough to get back into the Top 50 of the OWGR punching his ticket to The Masters. Unfortunately, those passing on the information to him were in a word… WRONG! The way that Poulter has shown grit and determination since the 2017 Honda Classic (where he was ranked 207th in the OWGR) is something to behold and appreciate. It was nearly a year ago he lost his PGA Tour status when he fell about $30,000 short of extending his exempt status.
Amazing! What a turnaround and it goes to show everyone. Keep grinding. Golf is like life. You only get out of it what you put into it. One last thought on Poulter. By any chance is this a Ryder Cup year?
Until The Next Tee!!