Ian Poulter Loses PGA Tour Card After Missed Cut at Valero

Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports /
Ian Poulter
Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports /

Without his full PGA Tour card for the first time in years, Ian Poulter may be facing his biggest challenge yet.

With a missed cut at the Valero Texas Open, Ian Poulter has officially fallen $30,624 short of retaining his PGA Tour status for 2017. The 41-year-old vet had been playing this season out of the major medical category, but he will now have to rely on sponsorship exemptions and past champion status to get his starts.

This shift in status robs Poulter of one thing he’s had for the vast majority of his professional career: control. Here’s what he said in a recent interview with Golf.com’s Art Stricklin:

"“The most frustrating thing is that I can’t plan a schedule. So, I have to be ready to go any given Monday for an event. Obviously, I will try to qualify for the U.S. Open and the Open Championship, but it’s just very, very frustrating.”"

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While the U.S. Open might present a good opportunity for Poulter to work in another start, The Open has (somewhat ironically) done away with most of its open qualifying spots, so breaking into the field at Royal Birkdale may prove tricky. For a player like Poulter, who has so much experience at the majors, it would be gutting to once again miss out on these national opens, neither of which he’s played since 2015.

He’ll probably have more luck getting into standard events — after all, this is Ian Poulter we’re talking about, and tournament organizers are always looking to boost attendance by inviting non-exempt stars.

He also has the option of playing in Europe, though he wouldn’t commit to anything for the time being. For now, Poulter plans on playing next week at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and taking it from there.

"“It’s not like I’m going to go away and you’re never going to see me again. I’m playing next week with Geoff Ogilvy in New Orleans. You know, golf’s a funny game. You never know what’s going to happen. Obviously I need to go away and I’ve got some work to do.”"

Given his stature in the game, it’s more than likely that we’ve yet to see the last of Poulter. Keep an eye on him in the coming months — without a doubt, this new wrinkle in his career will test his resiliency and desire.

Next: How Will Lyme Disease Affect Jimmy Walker's Game?

What’s your prediction — will Ian Poulter be able to regain his PGA Tour status? Let us know in the comments, and keep it here at Pro Golf Now for more updates.