Ian Poulter's Son Luke On Why Ryder Cup Legend Is 'Running Scared'

Luke Poulter is yet to beat his dad but says "that first win isn’t too far off"

Ian and Luke Poulter next to each other at a tournament
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Luke Poulter has accused dad Ian of “running scared” as they enjoyed some light-hearted banter ahead of the Players Championship.

Poulter senior revealed earlier this year that 17-year-old Luke - who is honing his skills with the celebrated Gators, as a member of the University of Florida golf programme - had squandered a few gilt-edged chances to record a first win in their hard-to-head battles.

But Luke says Ryder Cup legend Ian has denied him a chance to put the record straight since he returned from starting the year in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Saudi Arabia.

Luke explained: “I think he’s been running scared! We haven’t had any straight up matches for a while. We play each other off scratch - I wouldn’t take shots off him. But that first win isn’t too far off.”

Ian pointed to his strapping six-feet-three-inch son and asked if it was any surprise Luke was regularly hitting the ball past him off the tee - without quite managing to close the deal so far.

He grinned: “Of course he won’t take shots off me. He’s too proud. But just look at the size of him now. It’s no wonder he hits it past me, is it? He still hasn’t beaten me yet, but he’s right, we haven’t actually played competitively since the start of the year.

“We did play two rounds together, but I’d had two weeks off, he was grinding and I was just coming out to relax. So we didn’t go at it. But we enjoy rubbing each other, and this week at the Players Championship is always a nice week. Luke’s been with me since I came over from Orlando, and up and the rest of the family are coming up too.

“Luke walked the course with me in my first practice round and hit a few putts. He has got a big one coming up too. It’s the Sage Valley Junior Invitational, a big amateur event with 33 elite boys and 33 girls. He’ll be going up there Sunday, and the rest of us will join him on Tuesday to cheer him on.”

David Facey
Contributing Writer

David brings a wealth of experience to Golf Monthly as a freelance contributor having spent more than two decades covering the game as The Sun's golf correspondent. Prior to that, he worked as a sports reporter for the Daily Mail. David has covered the last 12 Ryder Cups and every Masters tournament since 1999. A popular and highly-respected name in the press tents around the world, David has built close relationships with many of the game's leading players and officials.