LIV Golf's Ian Poulter: I've had 'LOADS' of people apologising to me

Ian Poulter has opened up on the 'vile' abuse he has received since joining the LIV Golf League and the 'positive' response from the Netflix documentary. 

Ben Smith's picture
Sun, 26 Feb 2023
LIV Golf's Ian Poulter: I've had 'LOADS' of people apologising to me

Ian Poulter has opened up on the 'vile' abuse thrown his way since joining the LIV Golf League as he claimed he's had people apologise to him after seeing the Netflix documentary Full Swing. 

Poulter has given an exclusive interview to The Telegraph's Jamie Corrigan. The topics included were exactly what you might expect. 

The Englishman is said to have signed a $20m deal with the breakaway tour last June and since then has been receiving a torrent of abuse. 

Related: Sir Nick Faldo tears into Sergio Garcia

Mainly, for being accused of complicity in sportswashing Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses. 

His decision resulted in a fine and suspension from his home circuit. That decision was 'stayed' by Sports Resolutions UK panel. 

But in a few weeks' time, that decision could go against Poulter in the DP World Tour v. LIV Golf hearing

It would bring to an end a glittering Ryder Cup career in which he has been anointed Europe's Postman such is his propensity to deliver points.

Poulter was featured in the Netflix documentary Full Swing. He was asked how much money was 'enough'.

It's all relative, came the reply as the now 45-year-old insisted he's done what he has always done. Play golf and chase the money. 

Poulter told Corrigan:

"I don't just think of my kids, but their kids and their kids and that is what I work for. People might have their objections. I'm not sure I get it, but fair enough. Yet I don't understand why they take it so far."

Poulter said some of the messages have been 'pretty vile', adding: 

"[They were] not necessary and I think that, in many respects, the media are to blame for the extent of this abuse."

Poulter said it has been difficult to get the 'full picture out there' and believes what he has said is not reported in its entirety. 

The coverage has 'all come from one angle'.

He said:

"It's just felt very, very unjust."

Poulter, understandably is not the only decorated European player to have joined LIV that feels this way. 

Lee Westwood has expressed similar sentiments. Henrik Stenson also called for balance in the debate.  

Poulter said he's struggled to cope with the barrage of criticism. He questioned how he has to prove to people that he cares about Ryder Cup. 

Poulter continued:

"The pictures show it. Blood, sweat and tears, I wasn't acting. I was a wreck for a few weeks after each one of those matches.
"I loved every second, but now I’m in the situation where I feel unwelcome. Just because I put my family first? I've struggled to cope with that, although the reaction to Netflix has helped a lot.
"I mean, scrolling through the messages, since it was released 10 days ago, it's been one positive thing after another. The opposite of what I've become used to.
"I've had loads saying, ‘please accept an apology – I've said things to you that I shouldn't and have a new respect level. Anyone would do that for their family'. I hope this has been a turning point. I know I've been making a fresh start."

And what about his future?

"Look, I just want to be accepted as a normal member of a members' organisation and as an independent contractor who wants to play golf globally – simple as that.
"We'll find out if that's possible soon enough, although I'll have to play my way into the team anyway because there's no chance I'll get one of the six wildcards, whatever I do."

What do you make of Poulter's comments? Tweet us with your thoughts. 

Next page: Nine players who changed their mind about LIV Golf