Ian Poulter will live to regret turning his back on the Ryder Cup

Ian Poulter has always had a chip of sorts on his shoulder. At least, you get the feeling that the 46-year-old Englishman has always overcompensated for the fact that he wasn’t a prodigious talent that burst onto the professional scene, but rather the assistant club pro at Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire who had to get his hands dirty whilst he paid his dues.

Indeed, you’re left with the unmistakable feeling that having to grind his way to the top has left Poulter slightly resentful of those who had an easier path to the PGA Tour. Perhaps this is why the Englishman felt in his rights to join the lucrative LIV Golf Tour whilst forsaking the main tours that he has called home for over two decades. It is, however, worth pointing out that Poulter will still have a visible presence at the majors and that can be seen in the latest golf betting with the 46-year-old priced at 200/1 to win the 2022 Open Championship.

So whilst The Open golf odds 2022 may not favor Poulter to win his first major, fans can still expect him to be allowed to play in the sport’s biggest events for the time being. The same, sadly, can’t be said for the Ryder Cup with Poulter officially suspended from any participation in the team event owing to his decision to join the breakaway LIV Golf League.

This immediate suspension has, in many respects, tarnished Poulter’s legacy in a tournament that has given him his most successful days on a golf course. Indeed, and this goes back to that combative nature where the chip on his shoulder is so clearly evident, but whenever talk arises of how a major championship has eluded Poulter, the Englishman defiantly responds by saying that the Ryder Cup wins have been his major trophies.

In fact, Poulter even went as far to say in 2021 that he wouldn’t swap his Ryder Cup triumphs for a major. It’s an incredible statement to make, but this is a man who has based his entire identity and legacy on the back of the Ryder Cup which he has now effectively turned his back on after joining the rebel Saudi-backed league.

Yes, in the short term, Poulter will make a lot of money by doing so but when the dust settles, the 46-year-old will surely realize that he has thrown away his most cherished accomplishments for a financial injection that he probably didn’t even need.

In reality, it is a tragedy that the narrative around his career will now change from a man with obvious golfing limitations who massively overachieved through sheer determination to someone who set fire to his legacy. Indeed, for all of Poulter’s combative nature, the truth is that the golfing world stood in total admiration of someone who turned pro off a four handicap and went on to accrue over $40 million on tour. The equivalent to that would be deciding to join Formula One because you’re the quickest around your local roundabout on the way to work. Still, Poulter made it happen and in particular, forged his name and reputation whilst playing in the Ryder Cup. It has undoubtedly been one of the most uplifting golfing stories post-Millennium.

Alas, those days and that inspiring tale are seemingly dead with the inescapable truth being that Poulter will live to regret scraping his legacy.