Poulter still pained by marker penalty that cost him so dearly in Dubai

ian poulter
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Ian Poulter's "lucky" ball marker proved to be not so lucky on Sunday.
Mark Garrod
PA Sport


Published: Monday, November 29, 2010 | 3:32 p.m.

Anybody who has closely followed the career of Ian Poulter remembers the bizarre incident in Florida when his physical therapist jumped into a lake and found his ball.

Now there is another for the collection, but one that Poulter is struggling to see the funny side of right now.

Poulter will always believe that dropping his ball on his "lucky" marker on Sunday cost him more than $400,000 as he lost a Dubai World Championship playoff to former Ryder Cup teammate Robert Karlsson.

Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on the marker and the marker actually flipped over on the second green of their sudden death shootout, costing him a one-shot penalty. And, inevitably, it was not long before the jokes started coming at his expense.

"Receiving a little banter from the boys," he was soon reporting on his Twitter site.

Rory McIlroy, for example, said: "Poults may not have won the Dubai world championship, but he could be in with a shout for tiddlywinks world championship!"

Another was sent to Poulter from Lee Westwood, thanking him for the extra $145,263 bonus pool money he earned as a result.

"Just gave Poults a big kiss - he feels better now!" said Westwood, who would have dropped to fourth on the European Tour "Race to Dubai" if Poulter had won the tournament.

The difference between first and second in the event was almost $400,000, but because he still picked up over $800,000 and another $579,000 from the bonus pool the pain might not last too long.

And Karlsson might well have won the playoff in any case. He was only four feet away compared to Poulter's 30, but having two putts for it after Poulter left his par attempt short made it a whole lot easier for the Swede, who duly sank his for birdie.

"I've heard of it happening before, but not to me," said Poulter, who would also have risen to seventh in the world rather than eighth.

Asked how frustrating it was, the 34-year-old added: "About 20 world ranking points (23 actually), a lovely trophy and about $400,000 -- that much frustrating.

"It's a shame it's just ended the way it has and it's not a consolation for me that Robert holed the putt in any case,” he added. "It's a strange rule because if I had dropped the ball on the middle of the marker and it had not moved, there's no penalty.

"But I should not drop my ball on it. It's been my lucky marker since the start of the year and has got my kids' names on it,” he explained. "There are always positives, but right now I'm not seeing them."

After his victory, Karlsson could only say that Sunday was "a strange day, to say the least.

"It's not the way you want to win, but these things happen in golf,” he added. "The rules are there for a reason, but some of them look very hard at stages. In one way, that's the purity of the game."