Ian Poulter takes a harrowing path to Augusta National

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) Wherever Ian Poulter turns, there’ s i9000 someone with an outstretched hand plus congratulatory words.

Definitely, no one took a more harrowing way to the Masters.

The particular 42-year-old Englishman was the last participant to qualify for the first major from the year, winning last weekend’ h Houston Open in a playoff right after sinking a 20-foot birdie over the 72nd hole.

” Nice putt, ” someone stated as Poulter lingered under the big oak tree in front of the clubhouse from Augusta National.

This individual responded with a sly wink as well as a smile that signaled more comfort than joy.

” To do it the way I did it, all things considered the disappointments, all the highs plus lows, it’ s really nice, ” Poulter said on the eve from the Masters.

When the competition begins Thursday, there will be no shortage associated with compelling storylines.

Tiger Woods will be playing for the first time since 2015, healthful again and looking very much prepared to contend for a fifth green coat. Phil Mickelson is coming away a World Golf Championship victory plus trying to become the oldest Masters champ at age 47. Rory McIlroy will be looking to complete the career Grand Throw. Sergio Garcia is the defending champ. Dustin Manley is the world’ s i9000 top-ranked player. Justin Thomas provides seven wins since the beginning associated with 2017. Michael jordan Spieth already offers three major titles, including the 2015 Masters.

But Poulter, who’ s known mostly regarding his Ryder Cup heroics plus outrageous fashion sense, hopes to trip the wave of his Houston triumph right on through the Masters.

” There’ s generally a little downer when you win like this. I’ m sure it will take place at some stage, ” he stated. ” Hopefully it doesn’ big t happen until about 7 o’ clock Sunday evening, just after We slip on the green jacket. ”

Poulter thought he previously qualified for the Masters two weeks back when he reached the quarterfinals of the Match Play championship in austin tx. But there was an error in the forecasted world rankings, which meant this individual needed to win one more match in order to lock up his spot in the top notch Augusta field. He didn’ big t even come close, getting taken out 8 and 6 simply by Kevin Kisner .

Poulter had been so disappointed by that change of events he considered missing the last tournament before the Masters. This certainly appeared his trip to Houston was a waste of time when this individual opened with a 73 while almost half the field was shooting within the 60s, leaving him nine shots off the lead.

This individual made only one bogey the rest of the weekend break, playing the last 54 holes on 20-under par for his initial victory in six years.

” It wasn’ to flawless, ” Poulter said, ” but it might’ ve been because close to that as I’ ve ever been. One bogey in 3 rounds? That’ s pretty good. ”

Poulter skipped the particular Par-3 Contest on Wednesday, determining he needed a bit more time to decompress. He still hasn’ t obtained through all the messages he obtained after his dramatic victory, a job he’ ll get back to once he or she gets home from Augusta.

” It’ s already been busy, ” he said. ” But it’ s been excellent. ”

Poulter forced his way into one of the most expected Masters in years, with a lot of the attention focused on Woods’ return to type after years of debilitating health issues.

Sure, the last of their 14 major titles came almost a decade ago at the U. S. Open up, and it’ s been thirteen years since he captured the green jacket. But the 42-year-old Forest was established as one of the Augusta most favorite after finishing just one stroke at the rear of Paul Casey at the Valspar Tournament, followed by another strong showing away Hill.

” It’ s been a tough road, ” Woods said. ” The amount of moments that I’ ve fallen mainly because my leg didn’ t function or I just had to lay on a lawn for extended periods of time. Those were several really dark, dark times. ”

And now?

” I don’ t understand anyone who has had lower back fusion (surgery) can swing the club as soon as I can swing it, ” Forest said. ” I went through being a person that really had a difficult experience getting up, walking around, sitting down, anything, in order to now swinging the club. … That is a miracle, isn’ t this? ”

While this individual knows the future of the game belongs in order to 20-somethings such as Spieth, Thomas plus McIlroy, Woods is confident he or she and Mickelson can still compete with the children for at least a few more years. Lefty picked up his first victory because the 2013 British Open in South america last month, beating Thomas within a playoff.

Woods plus Mickelson even played an exercise round together in Augusta, an indicator that their once-prickly relationship offers softened considerably.

” We’ re at the tail finish of our careers. We both know that, ” Woods said. ” We have a new great 20-year battle. Hopefully we’ ll have a few more. Yet we understand where we are hanging around versus where we were in our earlier 20s, battling for who was likely to be No . 1 . That was after that, and certainly this is now. ”

Now seems very good, too.

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