Honma Hong Kong Open

‘My brain is getting in the way’ – Ian Poulter furious at mental lapses at Hong Kong Open

The former champion said he was heading for a ‘padded room’ after a frustrating opening round

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 December, 2016, 4:58pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 December, 2016, 9:53pm

Ian Poulter admitted coming in to the UBS Hong Kong Open there had been times this season when the foot troubles that forced him to hug the other side of the rope for four months had played on his mind.

On the first day’s play at Fanling it was the turn of shot selection and attitude to do exactly the same thing to the Englishman - a rare revelation for a player who has long prided himself on steely mental resolve.

“I’m going to be an angry man until I feel I get myself back in position,” said the 2010 champion after signing for a two-under 68 to leave him four off the pace set by Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello.

“It’s disappointing because I’m putting some work in and I’m doing some great stuff, and I’m not getting the rewards because my brain is getting in the way.”

Poulter offered up as evidence his run of three bogeys midway through the round – albeit with one birdie to save him from complete mental anguish. It was the fact that his mind had wandered that seemed to rattle the 40-year-old most, rather than simply poor strokes.

What no doubt made matters seem worse was the fact Poulter had jumped the gates flying, with three birdies over his first four holes.

“I’m really annoyed,” said Poulter. “I’m probably going to need to go to a padded room for about half an hour, and then I’ll be all right. I’ve made way too many [mental errors]. It’s really getting on my nerves at the moment.

“I’m getting frustrated on the course which doesn’t help and I’ve got every right to be annoyed, especially after getting off to a decent start. It’s unlike me; I shouldn’t be making those mistakes and I need to rectify it.”