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Poulter tweets to the defence of 'Subbuteo champ' Padraig

AS the fashion guru of world golf and Europe's Twitter king, Ian Poulter will always be colourful, funny and often outrageous, writes Karl MacGinty.

It was amusing earlier this week, for example, when Poulter informed his 1.1 million followers on Twitter who he'd be playing with in today's Volvo Golf Champions first round in Bahrain.

"I'm teeing off with the Subbuteo Junior World Champion and Francesco Molinari," he revealed.

By 'Subbuteo Champion' Poulter meant Padraig Harrington, following the finger-flick the Dubliner gave his golf ball during last Thursday's first round in Abu Dhabi, leading to disqualification and sparking a major rules debate.

For Poulter it was a witty follow-on from Rory McIlroy's pointed description last November of him as a "world tiddlywinks title-contender" after the Englishman dropped his golf ball on his marker on the second tie hole at The Dubai World Championship, incurring a one-stroke penalty which put the title on a plate for Robert Karlsson.

After Harrington's incident in Abu Dhabi, Poulter tweeted: "Rules of Golf Book: Rule 22-4, paragraph 3 line 7 'the rules of golf are complete b*****ks and are stuck back in 1932'. Couldn't agree more."

The Hong Kong Open champion then expanded on this. "If you look at a number of the scenarios and situations we've had in the last 12 months, I think a lot of the rules certainly need to be re-looked at for sure," he said. "I think there's no common sense involved with a number of them."

The rule which led to the disqualifications of Harrington in Abu Dhabi and Camilo Villegas in Hawaii for signing for a score which did not include a penalty they didn't know they'd incurred really riled Poulter.

"I think the signature on the scorecard really doesn't make that much of a difference. Every shot is visible on TV... it's not like you can cheat on your score," he said.

"Last week, Padraig played great the first day and he misses the rest of the week. It's a shame for such a great tournament that he couldn't finish the job off."

Irish Independent