Poulter Withdraws: Sour Balls or Sour Grapes?
By Stephanie Wei under European PGA Tour

Four pros playing in the Alstom French Open this week had to pull out of Wednesday’s pro-am due to injury. Lee Westwood was sent to the hospital after a blood clot scare. Colin Montgomerie is suffering from a torn calf muscle. Matteo Manassero hurt his wrist when he was hit by a stray shot. And Ian Poulter was bitten by a horsefly.

Honestly. Via Golf365.com:

“It was swollen yesterday and when I put my hand in my pocket I felt a big lump on my groin and knew it wasn’t right,” Poulter said.

“I went to the doctors, was given antibiotics and decided I was well enough to fly this morning, but that’s probably not done it any good.

“An English doctor said I should go and have an intravenous drip, but the French one did not think that was the right thing to do and has given me tablets.

“I’ll come up in the morning to see how it is. Hopefully I’ll be okay, but walking for five hours is not going to do it any good and nor is the heat.”

Oh noes! While I know how pesky and annoying bug bites can be if you’re very allergic (because I am), perhaps Poults is suffering from a case of revenge-itis. Remember what happened at the French Open last year? He was beyond livid after the final round, blaming a photographer who snapped three shots while he was in his downswing for causing him to dunk one in the water that deprived him of a chance to win.

When told to “try not to swear” in his interviews afterward, Poults snapped, “You had better tape it then.” Begin IJP rant:

“You saw how frustrated I was. It’s a tournament I want to come and win and you have some stupid cameraman that makes it difficult for you.

“I suppose you could say that if you concentrate 110% then you shouldn’t hear it, but he was 25 yards away.

“It’s a shame because it’s a good tournament, but I won’t be back next year.

“That’s what happens when you let novice people come in and ruin our livelihoods. We are playing for world ranking points and I want to move up as high as I can.

“It’s just so annoying to let these people in who take shots time and time again.

“The spectators were magnificent this week, awesome. What are you going to do? You take the tournament off your schedule and you don’t come and play golf.”

Looks like it was just one of those in-the-moment type of threats because he is back this week. Unless, you know, withdrawing from the pro-am is just an irrational attempt to get back at the tournament. Naw, then he wouldn’t have bothered to show up.

But apparently the French Open and the English Poults just can’t figure out how to get along. First, the untimely camera clicks, and now, a pesky horsefly bite. Let’s hope the swelling around his groin subsides. And Poults can man up feels better by his tee time on Thursday morning.