Ian Poulter formally lost his fully-exempt PGA Tour status on Friday when he missed the cut at the Valero Texas Open, leaving him short of fulfilling the requirements of a major medical extension on which his card hinged.
The 41-year-old took time off last year from the Tour to rest an injured foot, and, upon his return, was given 10 starts by the PGA Tour to earn enough money to make up the gap between his 2015-16 earnings and what the player who finished 125th on last season’s money list made. Going into the week in San Antonio, Poulter needed $30,624. By missing the cut, he made nothing.
“It’s not like I’m going to go away and you’re never going to see me again,” Poulter said after missing the cut.
And he’s right. As a former two-time PGA Tour winner, he can lean on his past champion status to get into some tournaments, as well as use sponsor exemptions to get some additional starts.
“I’m playing next week with Geoff Ogilvy in New Orleans [at the Zurich Classic],” he said. “You know, golf’s a funny game. You never know what’s going to happen. Obviously I need to go away and I’ve got some work to do.”
The difficulty, Poulter says, is that he was at the mercy of his peers to get into events, making it impossible to pick a schedule where he could cherry-pick his favorite tournaments.
“The most frustrating thing is that I can’t plan a schedule,” he said. “So, I have to be ready to go any given Monday for an event.”
Poulter will try to qualify for the U.S. Open and British Open.