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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 15 November, 2019

Lucky break for Poulter as he gets to keep his PGA Tour card after all

The English golfer thought he had lost his playing rights for 2018, but a rules change has worked in his favour.

Poulter's season was disrupted by injury.
Poulter's season was disrupted by injury.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

ENGLAND’S IAN POULTER hasn’t lost his PGA Tour playing status after all.

The tour said Poulter and American Brian Gay will keep their cards after a recalibration of the FedEx Cup playoff points structure for players competing on major medical exemptions.

“It’s obviously a big bit of good news,” Poulter told the Golf Channel in New Orleans, where he is competing in the Zurich Classic.

“For the tour to unanimously decide that was the fair thing to do, today puts me in a very different situation for playing my schedule and playing all the remaining events I’d like to play to keep going in the right direction.”

Poulter thought he had lost his playing status on the PGA Tour after missing the cut at the Texas Open last week.

That was the 10th and final event of his major medical exemption, granted after he missed most of last season with foot arthritis.

The tour said in a statement Saturday that its switch to using FedEx Cup points rather than the money list to determine playing status “unintentionally made it more difficult for these players to retain their exempt status.”

“The spirit of the medical extension has always been to provide the same opportunity a player would have had if he had not been injured to retain his card, and in this case the bar was moved significantly,” the statement said.

Poulter insisted last week that the prospect of losing his US tour card had been “over-dramatized.”

But he admitted Saturday the news was a relief after he’d been “under an awful lot of pressure to play golf, when you’ve come under a lot of tricky questions in the past month and being subjected to some social-media abuse.”

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