Poulter Falls Victim To “The Spieth Rule”

Jordan Spieth wasn’t the only big-name player to run afoul of the PGA Tour’s newly-implemented Strength of Field Regulation; Ian Poulter is in violation of the policy as well.

As a refresher, the rule states that if a player without lifetime or veteran status doesn’t play in 25 or more tournaments in the immediately prior or current season and doesn’t add an event they haven’t played in the prior four seasons, then that player is subject to a three-tournament suspension and a major fine. 

Neither Spieth nor Poulter will be able to fulfill the 25-tournament provision — Spieth will have played in 24 events counting the Ryder Cup and Poulter will have played in 20 events — and neither participated in a tournament that they hadn’t played in over the last four years, respectively.

Spieth Could Receive Fine Or Suspension From PGA Tour

However, as many of our readers have rightly pointed out, the penalty of suspension for a player who hasn’t played in enough events sounds counterintuitive. Instead, the PGA Tour seems to have found some middle ground with both Spieth and Poulter that satisfies their penalty as well as the issue of adding new events.

According to GolfChannel.com’s Rex Hoggard, both Spieth and Poulter’s situations have been addressed. 

“I have talked to Jordan and we’ve resolved it,” Andy Pazder, the Tour’s chief of operations, said. “We have come to a resolution. I’m not going to be able to share the details of that, (but) I will say the result is something that you will see next season. It’s resolved in a way that’s going to be a win for our tournaments, our fans and golf in general.”

As for Poulter, Pazder said that Poulter’s focus shifted in the early going following his win at the Houston Open. With the victory, Poulter picked up five events in Europe in an effort to make the European Ryder Cup team, which he did, and as a result, the Englishman fell short of the required 25-event minimum on the PGA Tour.

“We’ve come to a resolution on how (Poulter) is going to address that,” Pazder said.

Although no explicit details were given, the context clues would suggest that both Spieth and Poulter will be showing up at a few new events in 2019.