What do you get for the golf tournament that has everything? How about a Black Hat

‘sup, ur boy Benny is risen. Hallelujah and Amen (Corner)

U know the whole HTTA crew is hyped for what might be the most anticipated Masters in history. The thing that has us most jazzed for this, is that literally everybody is playing well and there are so many good players. We’ve covered Tiger being back extensively. Phil and Bubba have grabbed wins recently. JT, DJ, Jordan and the rest of the Spring Break boys have all been on a roll. And literally every week 10 new names are crowded around the top of the leader board. This Masters has everything you could want. Well almost everything. You see as competitive as the game is right now, it lacks villains. Sure Bubba is a little quirky, Phil might be a tad disingenuous and nobody can put up with the “unruly” fans. But no one you could really hate or wanted to root against.

Well Augusta National, say hello, to the Bad Guy:

Ian “The Postman” Poulter is in the Masters field. And unlike last week, this time that statement is actually true.

When he reached the quarterfinals of the Dell Technologies Match Play two weekends ago in Austin, he was told that it was enough to get him into the top 50 in the world ranking by the end of the weekend, the cutoff for qualifying for the Masters.

It turned out that he needed to win his quarterfinal match, and Poulter was informed of the mistake before he teed off. Kevin Kisner beat him.

Most of the golfing world was probably celebrating that this insufferable jerk (it’s true, google Ian Poulter jerk and you will get more than 157,000 results) was going to be out of golf’s signature event. But not everyone was celebrating, not Ian Poulter. Sure he thought about not going to this past weekend’s Houston Open. But he couldn’t deprive his fans in America of more Ian Poulter. So he came to Houston, and won the whole damn thing to qualify, for realz, for the Masters.

Look Poulter is a jerk. He collects Ferraris. He’s gotten social media trolls fired from their places of employment, and he is a boorish bad winner and sore loser. Just look at these quotes from him following his performance in Houston:

“”I had to dig deep today…Last week was painful,” he said “To come here this week, I was tired. I was frustrated on Thursday. … I was patient. I waited my time. And this is amazing.”

Remember, we are talking about a guy who gets paid to play golf.

All that being said, in the immortal words of The Big Lebowski, “that creep can roll, man”. In yesterday’s final round Poulter needed a 20 foot birdie putt on 18, on enemy soil, with everyone rooting against him to force a playoff, and he straight up drained it. Pounded his chest and everything. Shades of Medinah in 2012. The Postman delivered again. He’s a 3x PGA tour winner and a 12x winner on the European tour. He finished tied for 6th at the Masters as recently as 2015 and has top 3 finishes at both the Open Championship (2008) and the PGA Championship (2012). And every red blooded American Golf fan knows that he turns into some mixture of Tiger, Jack and Arnie at the Ryder cup, so the guy can handle big pressure Golf.

Not saying that Poulter is going to win this week at Augusta, but not not saying that either, know what I mean. Plus it’s just one more reason to tune in. To hope that he shoots like an 85 with double bogeys all over place. To delight in someone being a bad loser. Because sometimes sports is as much about rooting against as it is rooting for.

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