Legendary coach and Worldwide Golf columnist, Pete Cowen, believes Ian Poulter still has a fantastic chance of winning an allusive Major although he is 43 years old.
Poulter, who is coached by Cowen, has transformed his career since falling to a low of 207th in the world in 2017 after suffering from a foot injury and a drastic dip in form. But now he’s back playing some of the best golf of his career and inside the top 30.
However, ‘The Postman’ still hasn’t made his mark in the Majors – his best finish being tied third in the 2012 PGA Championship. But Cowen believes there’s still time for the Englishman to win one of golf’s biggest prizes. “Poulter likes to think that he has a shot of winning a Major, but as he gets older the percentage of chance of winning is getting less,” he says in trademark pragmatic style.
“But then you have got Tiger Woods who is the same age as Poults (43 years old) and he just won The Masters and Jack Nicklaus won a Major when he was 46. The players are as fit as they have ever been, so as long as you stay mentally sharp I can’t see a problem.”
Poulter was in the penultimate group in this year’s Masters and had a great opportunity to challenge Woods and Molinari for the title before making a costly mistake on the treacherous 12th hole to end his chances . “In The Masters, he started so well but then he was disappointed with the final round,” adds Cowen. “He wanted to get into the mix and stay there right to the death. If you are in the penultimate group in The Masters, you are always in with a chance, but unfortunately four out of the six players put the ball in the water on the 12th including Poults. People do not realise how difficult that hole is when the wind is up.” Poulter ended up finishing tied 12th – five back from eventual champion Woods.
Much of the hype leading up to the PGA Championship is surrounding the difficulty of the Bethpage Black Course. Poulter hasn’t competed in the last two Majors that have been held at this course in 2009 and 2002, so his previous form there can’t be assessed but his current form encouraging to say the least. He has five top 10s already this season and has finished tied 17th or better in the last four events he has played. You’d expect him to be up there again this week.