Throwback Thursday: Poulter tries speed golf at Sawgrass

The Scoop

What lengths would you go to for four extra hours in bed?

The Background

The third round of the 2011 Players Championship was a slow one thanks to a long rain delay. Ian Poulter, who was playing with Dustin Johnson, had discussed finishing their round following the conclusion of the 16th hole.

With the horn just moments away it meant that a 7.45am restart was on the cards and the Englishman wasn’t having any of it.

Threatened with a 5.30am wake-up call, Poulter took it upon himself to make sure the pair got their round finished and cards signed.

The Scene

Both players found the green with their tee shots on the iconic 17th. Poulter knew that if the pair made it to the 18th tee before the horn they would be allowed to finish.

The Englishman then sprinted around the banks of the 17th and onto the green to two putt for par. Poulter then grabbed his ball and sprinted towards the 18th tee. After grabbing two clubs from his caddie he screamed towards Phil Mickelson and Martin Laird to get out the way so he could hit his tee shot.

Luckily, his ball made it over the water and himself and Dustin Johnson were able to finish in time. But, it came at a cost as he bogeyed the final hole to close out the day with a round of 74.

The Legacy

After a fairly dull day of golf he was the talk of TPC Sawgrass but Poulter believed it was something any other player would’ve done.

“A little 300-yard sprint is well worth four hours in bed, I think quite a few guys in that situation would have done exactly the same thing,” said Poulter.

“We knew when we teed off it was always going to be close. We figured we could get to 17, 18. We were talking about it the whole way around, ‘What is the time, what is the time, how much longer do we have?’ Yeah, it was close.”

Some people will just do anything for a lie in…

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