The defectors to LIV Golf have received a chilly reception at the Open Championship. They were kept off the pre-week interview schedule and put in pairings away from the marquee groupings.
Phil Mickelson did not attend the former champions’ dinner, and R&A chief Martin Slumbers made it quite clear in a Wednesday interview that, in his opinion, the Saudi-backed circuit was detrimental to the sport.
But even against that backdrop, what happened at the first tee on Thursday to Ian Poulter was downright stunning, as he was booed on the first tee at the Old Course.
Now, Poulter has experienced his share of less-than-positive crowd interactions in the past, but most of those experiences have happened in the United States. That the Englishman would be greeted with a Bronx cheer at the Home of Golf was something that, even to the biggest LIV Golf critic, seemed sensational.
Yet the boos came down, and perhaps it’s not a coincidence that in spite of the very, very generous landing space, Poulter snapped-hooked his tee shot something fierce, almost losing his ball out of bounds, which is darn-near an impossibility here.
UPDATE: Poulter has got his round back on track with a stunning 160-FOOT EAGLE putt. Check this out: