VIRGINIA WATER, England – Ian Poulter is unsure if he will return to play in the BMW PGA Championship in future, describing the Wentworth course as unfair and leaving him “absolutely fuming” at the halfway mark of the tournament.
The West Course was remodeled by Ernie Els in 2007, and Poulter skipped the tournament the following two years due to a dislike of the greens. Further criticism from players in 2010 forced additional changes to be made this year.
Poulter double-bogeyed the last in a 3-over 74 to be level par on Friday, currently five shots off the pace from the incomplete second round.
“I don’t like this golf course, period. End of story,” Poulter said. “We are trying to land it on a dining room table from 230 yards out. You miss your target, yeah, I think it’s a little unfair. I’ve walked off the golf course and I’m absolutely headless, absolutely fuming.
“It’s now turning into a very, very difficult golf course and I’ve got to say, it’s not fun golf.”
Asked if he would play in the event next year, Poulter said: “Who knows? I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’ve got no idea. I’ll speak freely – many others may not.”
Els defended the course as a major championship-style layout.
“Wentworth is now a fair and honest test of golf,” he said. “I can understand people saying things in the heat of the moment. A guy comes off the 18th when he’s just made double and he’s going to be hot.
“I believe you will not find better surfaces to putt on anywhere in the world at the moment, but unfortunately you only hear the negative comments and very little positive. This course is by no means unfair. It was last year, but it is not this. It is a true test of the game.”
Poulter’s criticisms were shared by playing partner Paul Casey of England, who shot a 71 to be 1 over.
“I think (owner) Richard Caring, from what I’ve heard, was perhaps wanting something like level par to win. Well he might get that but does that make it entertaining?” Casey said.
“One of the beautiful things about Wentworth is always the great finish and the fact that guys could finish with maybe four threes (two birdies, two eagles) and shoot up that leaderboard. It’s very, very difficult now.”