Ian Poulter appears a man on a mission this season.
Frustrated by injury and missing out on the Ryder Cup last season following a disappointing run of results that nearly saw him lose his PGA Tour card, the fiery Englishman is starting to return to the form of old.
Poulter finished second at the Players Championship in May, picked up one of three spots in Open qualifying at Woburn last week and is currently tied for the first-round lead at the Scottish Open after an opening 67.
Much of the improved form, says Poulter, is a change of putting grip to placing a finger down the side of the putter like US Open champion Brooks Koepka.
“Nothing mechanical had to be fixed, I’d been playing some good golf even before and after my injury,” said Poulter, the current world number 85.
“But I’ve recently changed my putting grip – that’s been the biggest change I’ve made. I’ve never done that in 19 years of playing professional golf.
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“All of a sudden I’ve put the finger down the side of the putter, this Brooks Koepka kind of thing. Having seen him hole all sorts of putts with it I thought I’m going to give that Brooks thing a go.
“I’ve played some great golf of late but just haven’t been holing putts at the right time. People see me as a good putter having seen what I’ve done in the Ryder Cup. To now see the ball rolling on line has made a big difference.”
Poulter may still be waiting for his first tournament title since the 2012 WGC-HSBC Champions, but the 12-time European Tour winner has been knocking on the door – none more so than when finishing runner-up spot at the Players Championship in May.
Since then, Poulter has finished in and around the top 30 at every event he’s played in. The Englishman is enjoying his golf once again.
“Behind the scenes there’s been a lot going on, and without going into details, I’ve tried to simplify that,” said Poulter, clearly referring to shutting down his IJP Design business.
“Life gets busy at times and sometimes you just need to clear up the bits and pieces. When you do that, you start to see light at the end of the tunnel.”
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