Golf

Poulter fires back at analyst Miller

Ian Poulter
The wind whips at Ian Poulter on the 10th tee at Kapalua on Sunday.
GolfWeek Alex Miceli
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KAPALUA, Hawaii

It's not often you have a dust-up between an announcer and player during a round that eventually would be wiped out, but it happened Sunday during the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course.

An event that has been riddled with weather issues finally had some live golf to showcase Sunday, but it went from live golf to something other than golf after about 30 minutes.

Re-enter the circus.

Before the horn blew to bring the players back to the clubhouse because of excessive winds, Ian Poulter took his time over a birdie putt on the par-3 11th hole.

The 164-yard hole normally is benign, but in the 40-mph gusting winds of Kapalua, it was far from gentle and at times nearly unplayable.

Poulter took a lot of time over his 20-foot birdie putt, just above the hole, wind whipping his pants as he looked it over. The Europeans' Ryder Cup hero continued to step in and out of his stance, refusing to ground his putter until finally hitting the ball.

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Johnny Miller, the often-controversial color analyst for NBC Sports' golf coverage, commented about Poulter’s unwillingness to putt.

“You just can‘t stay over the putt that long. You've got to get in there, line it up and hit it,” Miller said initially about Poulter’s inaction. “He surely doesn’t have the Tom Watson attitude so far. He’s afraid he’s going to hurt himself, and that would probably set the game back 20 years.”

Miller continued: “He’s just taking way too much time. He’s being fairly dramatic here.”

Less than an hour later, after players had cleared the course, Poulter heard differing views of Miller’s comments, which included calling the Englishman a "drama queen," and Poulter responded via his Twitter account.

“Johnny miller why don't you come interview me live and say that stuff straight to my face,” Poulter tweeted after the round. “Was you watching a different channel.”

Later in the evening, Poulter added another tweet about the commentary.

"Just watched coverage on @GolfChannel. Really sorry I took way to long on 11th.... Just trying to win a golf tournament. Trying to do my job"

Miller was perplexed at why Poulter would be upset with his comments.

"He was being a little overly dramatic and taking extra amounts of time and sort of milking the shots a little bit more just to show it was unfair to play,” Miller said. “That was his prerogative, but I thought he was sort of overplaying the whole thing.

“It got over the edge, no doubt about it. I could see why guys would get a little over the edge wanting not to go on any farther. I don’t criticize anybody for that, but it seemed like Poulter . . . it wasn’t anything big. I just said he was being a little dramatic, that’s all."

Tagged: Ian Poulter, Johnny Miller

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