Even Ian Poulter’s 3-year-old son could tell his dad was struggling on the golf course.
Poulter lost five balls and shot a final-round four-over 74 to cap the Honda Classic’s Sunday-Monday finale, coming up just one stroke short of a playoff. Poulter finished 5-under for the tournament, a shot back from joining Padraig Harrington and Daniel Berger in a playoff, which Harrington won on the second hole.
Poulter, who led by three heading into the final 18 holes, and Michael Thompson had the highest final rounds -- both 74s among all of the players that finished in the top 50.
Poulter’s woes started on the par-3 fifth hole when he shanked his tee shot into the water and made double-bogey. He bogeyed the sixth after getting another ball wet. He birdied the seventh before play was called due to darkness and shared the lead with Paul Casey when play resumed Monday morning.
After a birdie on the eighth hole to open Monday, Poulter splashed his approach on 11 and made double-bogey. He then put back-to-back shots in the water on 14 to record a triple bogey. (He even went in the bunker on 14 before making a 19-footer to save triple.) During the NBC telecast, Johnny Miller questioned whether Poulter would have enough balls to finish the round.
Poulter birdied the 17th and 18th to end the tournament, but it wasn’t enough.
"It's just bitterly disappointing to put myself in the position I have, to play as well as I've played ... and a couple of loose shots has cost me this tournament," Poulter said. "It's a shame to hand tournaments away. I've handed one away this week."
Afterward, Poulter took to Twitter: