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Ian Poulter feels vindicated on Scottish Open ban appeal – ‘I didn’t have any other choice’

Ian Poulter feels he had no choice but to appeal his ban from the Scottish Open.
Ian Poulter feels he had no choice but to appeal his ban from the Scottish Open.

Ian Poulter feels he made the right decision to try to force his way back into the Genesis Scottish Open and is unconcerned about the reception awaiting him at North Berwick.

The Ryder Cup veteran was one of three LIV Golf players who successfully had their suspensions and fines from the DP World Tour revoked pending an appeal, clearing them to play this week at The Renaissance.

Poulter will arrive in Scotland tomorrow after completing the JP McManus Pro-Am in Ireland. The other two LIV players who successfully challenged the ban, Spain’s Adrian Otaegui and South Africa’s Justin Hardiong, are already in East Lothian.

Otaegui declined to speak about the matter on Tuesday saying he’d been advised to say nothing, but Poulter spoke freely from Ireland.

‘I’m not concerned’

“I feel pretty good,” he said. “I feel like it was the right decision and I’m looking forward to the week.

“I’m not concerned to be honest. My reception here has been unbelievable with the 40,000 fans that we’ve had.

“The locker room are people that I play against week in, week out and if they take objection to it that’s up to those guys – I haven’t had a problem with any of the players. I’ve seen Rory (McIlroy) this week and had a chat, I’ve seen Thomas (Bjorn) and we have a difference of opinion, but we’re still friends.

“When you’ve played golf with these players for a very long time it’s strictly a business decision. It’s not a personal decision that needs to get in the way of friendships and I class pretty much everybody out here on Tour as a friend.”

‘I’m not going to sit back when I feel it’s unjust’

Poulter says he wouldn’t have appealed if “it wasn’t the right thing to do.”

“I don’t feel I have done anything different to how I’ve played golf over the last 24 years. I didn’t have any other choice, I had to appeal. I’m not going to sit back when I feel that it’s slightly unjust – we followed the procedures that were in play.

“I’ve always played the Scottish Open, it’s part of my process. The 150th Open at St Andrews is a significant one for me. It was my first Open in 2000, it will be my last Open at St Andrews. I wanted to have some links prep going in.

“The disputes panel that judged on it have obviously judged that the ban was unfair. So that’s stage one of this process I guess.

“I don’t know the next stage as yet, how that unfolds or whether that’s in weeks, months, years. We’ll have to wait and see.”

‘I’ve always been committed’

Poulter believes he’s always been loyal to the European Tour.

“I’ve always been committed, the last 24 years, that has never changed,” he said. “I’ve always played over 100% more events in Europe than I have ever needed to.

“Quite a few players that have given their (European Tour) membership up to concentrate solely on the PGA Tour. I’ve never done that.

“Not everybody is going to agree with me and my decision but that’s everybody else’s opinion.”

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