Tempers were running high at the WGC-Cadillac Championship in Miami on Saturday after Ian Poulter called his playing partner an “idiot”.
At 21 and ranked in the world’s top 25, Hideki Matsuyama seemingly has everything going for him. But he does have a fault — the red mist which is prone to descend when things are not going his way on the course.
To his 1.6 million-plus followers on Twitter, Poulter explained the golfing crime committed by his young rival and vowed to have a word with him.
“Playing with Matsuyama tomo. He buried his putter in the 13th green 5ft from the hole, Referee had to repair the crater. Because he didn’t,” Poulter tweeted.
“I’m no saint and first to say. But that was disgusting. I wouldn’t bury a putter in a green 5ft from a hole and have players behind deal with it.
“Why should Matsuyama leave a crater in the green for others to putt over, or have to call a referee to repair the damage? Idiot.”
Poulter was playing in that group behind. Matsuyama, who recorded top-10 finishes in both the US Open and Open last year, will almost certainly be fined for his piece of injudicious gardening. Yet first he had to face Poulter’s judgement.
The pair were both on five-over, six off the pace after a day which has already entered Doral folklore as its toughest.
Build a new layout, cut the holes in the hardest locations, get the greens running at around 12 on the stimpmeter and add gusts of more than 30mph and the result is carnage.
As well as some mightily disgruntled competitors.
Most laid the blame for the golfing devastation which saw only three players hit under in the second round at the hands of the officials who decided not to move up the tees and set the pins.
Tiger Woods questioned whether it was entirely “fair”, while Webb Simpson, the 2012 US Open champion, went further. “Horrendous – that’s the word for it,” Simpson said. “The set-up is horrendous.”
That seemed to exonerate Gil Hanse and Donald Trump; namely, the architect who conducted the radical redesign and the famous American businessman who paid for the overhaul of the Blue Monster.
Except Phil Mickelson was one of the dissenters who looked further than mother nature, as the 68-man field managed to hit 113 balls into the water. “There was repeatedly good shot after good shot that was ending up in the water, because there was no good place to go,” said Mickelson, after a three-over 75, which included three successive double-bogeys.