Ian Poulter has a tendency to hit shanks, perhaps more frequently than any PGA Tour player. It’s partially a product of how close he stands to the ball. It’s just bound to happen.
But the worst place for Ian Poulter to hit a shank is on No. 16 at TPC Scottsdale at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. And that’s precisely what he did late on Friday in the 2018 edition.
With the day winding down and the grandstands around the hole — which can carry 20,000 people — less than full, Poulter came to the tee and hit a hosel rocket that flew into the stands. Fans rained down boos on Poulter as he stood somewhat surprised. The fan who got to the ball ultimately threw it back like an opposing player had hit a home run at Wrigley Field.
Out of all the places to hit a shank, 16 at Waste Management might be the worst. pic.twitter.com/XNmLG4QVAw
— Skratch (@Skratch) February 3, 2018
For his part, Poulter handled the whole thing about as well as someone could — particularly a European Ryder Cup villain. He took a drop from the grandstands and made bogey as part of a 2-under 69.
Afterward, Poulter, who has never run from his shank propensity, spoke about the whole thing.
“It’s not my first shank, and it won’t be my last shank,” Poulter said. “That’s it. I laugh at it. It’s pretty funny.”
Poulter is playing to get into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking to get in the Masters. He’s come up off the mat from lows last year, and now his attitude reflects a guy who is grateful but determined.
“Feel good, feel happy. Playing nicely,” Poulter said. “Three weeks in a row, it’s good for me to get on a little run. Start looking forward to a couple weeks off after this, and then have a nice little run after that as well. Hopefully try to play five events in a row, get a bit of momentum.”