Poulter gives us a peek into how the best golfers earn their keep.
Before the Australian Masters began, Ian Poulter said that if he wins, he will rise from 28th to 17th in the world golf rankings, thanks largely to world number one Luke Donald being in the field.
For anyone under the illusion that the world golf rankings don’t mean much to golfers, it was a strangely precise response from Poulter and he was quizzed on it further following his 6-under par opening round that sees him leading the tournament.
IAN POULTER: Yes.
QUESTION: It sounds like you have really set yourself to win this week.IAN POULTER: I set myself to try and win every week, but obviously that doesn’t happen. I am fully aware and I understand the world ranking points system. I think when you understand it you know where you are going to move up or down if you play well or if you don’t play well. So I think most guys understand it pretty well. That’s how most guys get paid nowadays, is where they finish on the world ranking. So I’m fully aware of that and I’m fully aware it is my last tournament of the year, so I need to play well.
Yes. And you thought these guys get paid by winning crazy amounts of prize money from week to week. They obviously just earn many more times that amount if they are ranked highly as Poulter went on to explain after being quizzed some more.
QUESTION: Ian, just further to the world ranking points there, you just said that guys get paid on the world ranking points. Is that a contractual thing and without prying into your —IAN POULTER: Sure, yes. Guys that play a global schedule, the only way to get paid is obviously your average on your world rankings. It is pretty much standard between everybody now. So you take your average for the whole year and that’s how guys get paid.
QUESTION: But your sponsors look to pay you more based on your world ranking at the end of the year?IAN POULTER: It is not paid more or less; it’s just how I get paid. It is the only way with playing two tours; it is not about where you finish on one order of merit because I’m playing two order of merits, and that is obviously very difficult. So they have to find a way to pay me the right amount, and that’s the easiest way to do so. So it’s based on world ranking points.
There is something to be said for Poulter’s forthrightedness. He very seldom dodges the question and didn’t do so on this occasion. I suppose it’s not exactly secret how these guys get paid but it;s not something that gets spoken about so openly this week.
Poulter has mentioned on Twitter how much he is enjoying playing in Australia and particularly at the very interesting Victoria layout. But he’s not here to just grab some appearance money. He wants to win but it’s not because of the prize money on offer.