Runner-up Ian Poulter’s pride at teenage son’s ‘brilliant’ pro event debut

Luke Poulter (L) Ian Poulter (H) - Second Ian Poulter's pride in teenage son's 'brilliant' pro event debut

Luke Poulter (left) caddies for his father Ian during a practice session for the 2022 Open Championship – Getty Images/Andrew Redington

Ian Poulter was less worried about his own fine performance when he came second in the Asian Tour International Series event in Newcastle and more worried about his teenage son Luke finishing in the top 25 in his debut pro event.

Poulter’s final-round 64 took him to nine-under at Close House and gave the 47-year-old his best finish of the year at nine-under, seven behind runaway winner Andy Ogletree in the $2 million (£1.5 million) event. But like the Ryder Cup legend shot his lowest round of the year, Poulter thought of his child ahead.

“Honestly, as well as I played, my mind was on how Luke was,” Poulter told Telegraph Sport. “Well it would have been, every parent will understand that. I was so proud of him just to make the cut, he finished with eagle, birdie, par on Friday to come into the weekend where there were a lot of good players , who missed something.

“And then to play the last two rounds in three under and move up to a tie for 22nd in those difficult conditions? That’s just brilliant. Luke now has a chance to do it – and he knows it.”

Poulter Jr. is in the renowned golf program at Florida State University, and this result will only give him additional confidence as he enters his sophomore year. “Look, he’s just been in college for a year — where do I rate his game?” Poulter Sr. said. “I’ve seen him hit enough balls, the kid has talent and definitely has an opportunity. Provided he stays motivated to work on the right things to improve all the aspects he needs and he will have a shot.”

In any normal year, Poulter Sr’s performance could have been considered equally timed with Luke Donald, the Europe captain, making his six Ryder Cup wildcard selections in two weeks. But Poulter is ineligible after resigning his DP World Tour membership in the wake of a fine for joining the breakaway LIV Golf League.

The Ryder Cup hopeful could leapfrog Koepka in the standings

Will Brooks Koepka, this year’s US PGA Champion, be the only LIV representative in Rome? The American will need a wildcard from US captain Zach Johnson after falling out of the top six, which automatically makes the team in the final qualifying event on Sunday night.

Xander Schauffele ousted Koepka after finishing tied for eighth at the BMW Championship in Chicago. Koepka will now demand that one of Johnson’s six captain’s picks turn up for the match at Marco Simone next month. It will be hugely contentious if Johnson doesn’t pick Koepka.

Anders must have seen the action on Sunday night and licked his lips. Norway‘s Viktor Hovland overtook world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler with a blistering 61 at Olympia Fields to send himself into the FedEx Final — starting in Atlanta on Thursday — just behind Scheffler in the standings in the race to win $18 million ( £14 million) bonus.

It was an encouraging night for Anders, with Matt Fitzpatrick finishing tied for second and Rory McIlroy fourth. The latter goes to East Lake in a tight battle to win the PGA Tour’s order of merit for the fourth time.

On the DP World Tour, England’s Daniel Brown claimed his first title with a wire-to-wire victory in the ISPS Handa World Invitational in Northern Ireland. Brown carded a closing 69 at Galgorm Castle to finish 15-under, five shots ahead of compatriot Alex Fitzpatrick.

The 28-year-old took a six-shot lead into the final round but quickly saw it halved when he bogeyed the opening hole and Fitzpatrick birdied first and second. Both players bogeyed the third and Fitzpatrick also dropped a shot in the fourth before Brown birdied the fifth and sixth to restore his overnight cushion.

The world No 384 looked in total command as he started the back nine with a birdie at the 10th, but three straight bogeys meant his lead was briefly down to just two shots. However, Brown responded superbly with three birdies in the next four holes to secure a career-changing victory.

“It’s amazing,” Brown said. “I could never have dreamed of this over the last several years. I don’t think it has sunk in. America [finishing seventh in the Barbasol Championship] was a bit of a turning point. It just gave me a lot of confidence that I know I can do it.”

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