With darkness drawing close on Saturday afternoon at The Players Championship and the prospect of an unexpectedly early tee time on Sunday to finish the third round becoming ever more possible, Ian Poulter did what any sane person who wanted a few more hours of sleep would do: kicked off a sprint through the final holes.
Teeing off allowed Poulter and his playing partner Dustin Johnson to finish out the round before the horn sounded, stopping play for the day for darkness. And it meant they wouldn't have to show up four hours earlier to play one hole of golf. Not a bad trade, yes? Of course, some of golf's self-appointed guardians didn't quite see it that way.
"I'm not sure about the etiquette of this," NBC's Johnny Miller sniffed as Poulter teed off. Miller, naturally, was on one of his characteristic things-were-different-in-my-day jags. Thing is, this isn't that uncommon of an occurrence, and both fellow players and members of the golf media pointed out that Miller's ignorance of that shows that he's a bit out of touch with the current state of the game.
"Criticizing [Poulter] for teeing off on the 18th the way he did is unfounded," Paul Azinger wrote on Twitter. "Every player on Tour would have done the same thing."
Still, it was Poulter who got the last laugh. He happily noted that he would have had to set his alarm for 5:15 Sunday morning but could now get another five hours of sleep, relaxing with "a nice glass of red wine & a fillet [sic] steak." Oh, and there was this:
"Johnny Miller is only giving me grief because he would have 4-putted the 17th green after a casual jog." Game, set, match to Poulter.