By Ryan Ballengee
Ian Poulter made quite a splash in January '08 when he told press assembled in Dubai that he had an honest belief that it should just be he and Tiger Woods atop the Official World Golf Rankings.
"Can I get to number one in the world? No, I can't really, not while Tiger is playing golf," he said. "Can I get to number two, yeah."
"Don't get me wrong, I really respect every professional golfer, but I know I haven't played to my full potential and when that happens, it will be just me and Tiger."
After Tiger Woods took the checkered flag at Dubai the same week as the comments, Woods reacted to Poulter's statement. (Think "9&8." "9&8 speaks for itself.")
Well, it only took approximately two years longer than Poulter predicted, but he's finally number two. I mean, he's number five in this week's Official World Golf Ranking. He has approximately half the points that Woods does now. (In fact, Woods has probably lost more points than Poulter has gained.)Kudos for that.
But his impressive run through the WGC Accenture Match Play field and final round win over Paul Casey still had him playing second fiddle to Tiger Woods' prepared 13 minute statement that was read two days prior.
Even when Woods is not playing golf, he still dominates attention for the sport. In fact, I'm sure we'll see some witty questioning of Poulter's win provided Woods' absence.This would be in contrast to Geoff Ogilvy, whose win here last year with Woods in the field and on the comeback trail, earned him enough praise to practically catapult him to the second ranking in public view.
The trick for Poulter is being able to back up his first WGC and US win with more than talk, pink pants, and apparently the Cobra shoot that he did this morning (in fact, going on right now).