Ian Poulter yesterday labelled his performance as “disgusting, disgraceful and unacceptable” as he crashed out of the Volvo World Match Play Championship in Bulgaria.
Poulter lost his opening group game to Thongchai Jaidee on Thursday and was beaten on the 18th hole at Thracian Cliffs by Thomas Aiken yesterday.
Two down with four to play, Poulter got back on level terms with birdies on the 15th and 16th, but bogeyed the last after hooking his drive onto the adjacent fourth fairway and failing to get up and down after hitting his approach just over the green.
“I have no excuses,” said Poulter. “There is no excuse for that display of golf over the last two days. It’s disgusting, disgraceful and there’s no explanation.
“My concentration was simply not there and therefore you make mental errors when you have not used your brain. It’s completely unacceptable.”
Asked where he went to next, Poulter added: “The tallest tree with the shortest rope. I am p***** off. I will stay p***** off for a couple of hours and then get to England and win at Wentworth [venue for next week’s BMW PGA Championship].” Poulter’s defeat meant Jaidee advanced to the last 16 as the group winner to face Sweden’s Peter Hanson, who came through the only play-off required. Hanson, Shane Lowry and George Coetzee all finished on two points after Lowry’s win over Coetzee yesterday, with the South African then bowing out at the second extra hole with a bogey four. Lowry’s birdie meant he won the group and set up a clash with Aiken.
Defending champion Nicolas Colsaerts also reached the knockout stages after recovering from Thursday’s loss to Branden Grace to beat Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who was then eliminated after losing the 18th hole to halve his match with Grace.
Colsaerts will take on Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano in the last 16 after the Spaniard beat Brett Rumford 3&2 to top their group, although the pair were already assured of going through after Rumford was eight under par in beating Jamie Donaldson 5&3.
Graeme McDowell remains on course to go one better than his runners-up finish last year thanks to a 4&2 win over Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher which set up a clash with American Bo van Pelt, whose halved matches with Richard Sterne and Geoff Ogilvy were enough to finish second behind Sterne in their group. Sterne takes on Chris Wood in the last 16 after the Englishman beat Gallacher 2&1, while Francesco Molinari will face Swede Carl Pettersson.
Glaswegian Scott Jamieson is up against Felipe Aguilar. Jamieson overcame the disadvantage of playing twice in the same day with impressive wins over Pettersson (one hole) and Thorbjorn Olesen (5&3). “It’s nice to win and top the group,” Jamieson said. “Again I didn’t play my best golf, but that’s match play, you don’t have to play well and you can still win. Hopefully there’s a little more in the tank.”