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iacas

Ian Poulter - Ass

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So today I'm at The Memorial. I decide in the afternoon to walk out backwards along the front nine. I spend a little time at the seventh, a par five that's giving guys some trouble.

Ian Poulter, resplendent in pink, hits drive into a bad spot, punches out, and then comes up in the front bunker with his third. I take a few shots (pictures) of him exploding from the bunker. I take a few (3-5) shots of him crouching while reading his putt or standing around.

I stop taking pictures while he was on the other side of the hole, crouching over to read his putt. I keep him in the frame (I had my 300mm lens on my 5D from about 25 yards away - I had him from the hips up, basically). I keep him in frame as he putts.

The entire time I'm doing this, a photo guy from the Columbus Dispatch is 10 feet to my left.

Ian putts, and the ball gets halfway to the hole. The guy to my left rattles off three frames. Ian Poulter flips the ball off - the guy to my left gets 5-6 frames. I was honestly too shocked to press the shutter. I saw it all through my viewfinder, but that's as close as I got to taking a picture. I should have, but honestly, I choked - I gagged. :-)

Anyway, Ian's pissed and now +3 after six holes. He looks at me and asks "Get enough pictures?" I say "wasn't me." He keeps looking at me (see footnote below) and asks again "Did you get enough pictures?" The guy to my left ducks under the rope and leaves. I say again "it wasn't me" and gesture to the guy that just left (I waited for him to leave before gesturing - I wasn't trying to rat him out, but I didn't want to get blamed for it either).

Ian walks to the back of the green, and keeps staring at me. I shrug my shoulders, and that sets him into a 10-second long rang in which he calls me "f#cking @sshole" about six separate times, mixed in with other things.

Now, a few points:

  1. Poulter will be fined, likely not only for flipping off the ball but also for the swearing.
  2. Poulter loves the camera. You don't dress like he does if you don't love the camera.
  3. Poulter, like most PGA Tour players, blame everything but themselves when they make a bad shot or swing.
  4. "The Guy" to my left did nothing wrong. He took no images and made no noise when a player was swinging. His series of shots post-putt were all more than a second or two after Poulter struck the putt.
  5. I'm not going to try to get a copy of the picture. I don't think it serves anyone well to publish photos of pros flipping off the ball or anything.

In the PJ (photojournalism) room later, I heard that Ian flipped off the ball last year and that he's a royal prick to photographers. Feel free to read the Ian Poulter section from last year's practice round. for another example.

Footnote: I talked to the guy later and he thought Poulter was talking to him when he asked if he got enough pictures. I told him what happened after he left - Ian looking at me and swearing - and he says "maybe he thought it WAS you." We both admitted it was tough to tell who Ian was looking at what with his reflective mirror shades (sunglasses) on.

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Just another example of how even a gentlemen's game is going to the pits. Fans jumping into the water, yelling congratulations for one while another is putting and now, this.

I think the Pink Panther was upset that Paula Creamer text his caddie to let him know how ridiculous he looked. I mean, even Ernie Els' daughter thinks he dresses like a clown. Watch the commercial.

Erik-Was he kind enough to thank you when he rang off three straight birdies? I mean, it's obvious that by you upsetting him it caused him to focus and play better. It's the least he could do.

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awesome! I've always looked for reasons to not like him.

You mean you needed something

other than the wardrobe?

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I'm not trying to condone his behaviour in any way at all, it is unacceptable, but you must admit it must have looked pretty dodgy from his end when he looks at you and he sees you go, it wasn't me, and point to someone else. I'm not saying you were in the wrong here at all, but just saying from his point of view it may have looked a little dodgy.

Alongside this, everyone has had their bad rounds when anything makes them angry and maybe this was just it for him.

So what if he doesn't like photographers, just because he dresses like he does doesn;t automatically mean he loves the camera, and even if he does, it doesn't mean he loves it when he is playing. Surely the same could be said for people like woody austin who dresses in the most awful shirts, it is an extension of his personility, not necessarily that he loves cameras.

I'm bound to get cussed for saying what i have just said, but hey! As i said, he was still way out of order in the way he acted

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I'm not trying to condone his behaviour in any way at all, it is unacceptable, but you must admit it must have looked pretty dodgy from his end when he looks at you and he sees you go, it wasn't me, and point to someone else. I'm not saying you were in the wrong here at all, but just saying from his point of view it may have looked a little dodgy.

You won't get cussed out by me, Naz.

Iacas, I don't think 25 yards is anything like far enough away, though I understand that a 300mm lens won't be enough for greater distances. Get yourself one of those big 800mm jobs the pros use, with the capability to open the f-stop wide up. You could be 50 yards away and still get a great shot, even in less-than-perfect light conditions. No-one will be bothered about you then. The forum you referred us to had the following under the pix of Poults: "So I feel compelled to point this out: though practice rounds are a great way to get close to PGA Tour players, get your own pictures, and create some awesome memories, they are not license to be rude. Don't take pictures when golfers are swinging. They're still working, even though it's not a tournament round. Please respect them and wait until after impact to press the shutter button." You said that, Iacas, and i have nothing more to add, except that it all applies double in the tournament proper.

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You won't get cussed out by me, Naz.

Read the post again.. he never snapped while Poulter was making his swing or putting..

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Ian Poulter, resplendent in pink, hits drive into a bad spot, punches out, and then comes up in the front bunker with his third. I take a few shots (pictures) of him exploding from the bunker. I take a few (3-5) shots of him crouching while reading his putt or standing around.

Clarify something for me. Did you have a photo press pass, or were you carrying a camera illegally during a competative round (like the tickets and signs tell you not to)?

I'm not trying to condone his behaviour in any way at all, but you must admit it must have looked pretty dodgy from his end when he looks at you and he sees you go, it wasn't me, and point to someone else. I'm not saying you were in the wrong here at all, but just saying from his point of view it may have looked a little dodgy.

I agree with what loadnazgul wrote above about you how it might have looked from Poulter's perspective, and that if you played golf for a living, and had money and rankings on the line you might be pretty pissed too if someone with a camera was distracting you while you were trying to focus during a competative round.

Iacas, I don't think 25 yards is anything like far enough away, though I understand that a 300mm lens won't be enough for greater distances.

I agree that 25 yards away isn't far enough away to go unnoticed, and if he saw you with your camera snapping shots at any time prior to

the talk then its not difficult to see why he thought you might be in the wrong.

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I can't speak completely for Erik, but I'm pretty sure he had all the proper media passes for the event. He attends every year for The Sand Trap.

As for Poulter's actions, they are shady at the very least. I've actually been a fan of Poulter for awhile because he always seem to play well in majors. His scores are never really low or high, but he is always in the thick of things on tough courses. That being said, I won't be cheering for him anymore after hearing about this. He is a professional athlete, and people will take pictures of him throughout his golfing career. It's part of it buddy, so get used to it and grow up a little.

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The guy is having a bad day,looking for some one to take it out on and looking for someone to vent at,you were there,annoyed him and he vented.We all do it at some stage,ever shout at a slow group in front of you,(fore e.t.c.) Would'nt judge anybody to hasty on that.

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I think it's a fair thread - I'd prolly post as well if it had happened to me. Looks like Poulter needs to grow a thicker skin, or start to discriminate a bit better between the bad guys out there (who certainly exist) and the innocent bystanders like our intrepid Erik here.

Mind you, if it were me up there in front of the crowd and having a bad day, I'd be venting right left and center. Someone's 1000mm anti-vibration auto-everything hyper-zoom lens might end up where the s..... well never mind. Which is why you won't be seeing me at a PGA event anytime soon

If he sticks around long enough, Poulter will likely grow out of it. He might become a bit less of a poser while he's at it.

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awesome! I've always looked for reasons to not like him.

awesome... looking for a reason. I'm not a big IP fan, something about him makes me root against him most of the time (especially if he's playing someone I like).

I think it's a fair thread - I'd prolly post as well if it had happened to me. Looks like Poulter needs to grow a thicker skin, or start to discriminate a bit better between the bad guys out there (who certainly exist) and the innocent bystanders like our intrepid Erik here.

well said.

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I would be angry if I was in Ian's position to be honest, you were simply an outlet for his anger, you shouldn't take offence.

Ian is apparently a lovely bloke, but everyone gets angry do they not? you shouldn't expect perfection, besides Stevie and Tiger shout at cameramen all the time, but its alright for them is it? hmmm.

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Read the post again.. he never snapped while Poulter was making his swing or putting..

Not necessary as I read it fine the first time.

There is a line to be walked when you're dealing with pro sportspeople and it gets pretty fine at times. I've been both sides of the camera (won some awards for sports pix, been pictured doing stuff people found interesting) so I think I understand the balance. In fast-moving sports, like football (both kinds - all three if you count Rugby), boxing, motor racing, etc, it's possible to get a bit closer to the action without distracting the participants. With golf - and tennis, to an extent - there is a period of extreme concentration and players can be distracted by anything. Notoriously, the 'tumult of butterflies mating in a nearby meadow'. When I take photos of golfers in action, I'm either a long way away with a mirror lens and monopod stand or, if I'm close up, I take the camera away from my face to make it clear to the player that I'm not snapping while s/he's playing. I will have set up the focus and framing already, so I can bring it back very quickly and get the shot after they've hit the ball, if it's something I really want. If they see that the camera is away from me when they play, opportunities for misunderstanding are minimised. Does this incident make Poulter the biggest ass on Tour? Heck, no - he's not even at the front of the queue. While regrettable, I've seen far worse. And he is working...yes, an accredited snapper is working, too, but the photographer is there to record the event while the player is there as part of the event. The pro photographer has a living to earn but I don't think the rights are entirely equal - the player has to have priority. And there are enough 'no cameras' signs around that if the sound of a shutter occurs at the wrong time, then tempers may get a bit frayed. Just MHO.

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