The Open: Ian Poulter has no fear of playing pain game
Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter will play through the pain barrier in the Open Championship after being assured he can take on Hoylake's heavy rough without aggravating a wrist problem.
Poulter, who finished joint third at Muirfield last year, underwent an MRI scan on Monday and declared himself fit enough to compete after receiving the results.
The 38-year-old suffered the injury last week during the Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen, where he missed the cut by three shots after running up a triple-bogey on the final hole of his second round.
"I hit a shot on the 14th on Friday off an upslope and kind of jarred it, then I had to have a go out of the rough on 18 because I needed to make four to make the cut," the world number 27 said.
"I went and played around (Donald) Trump's place on Saturday and it was still sore, so I came up here and booked an appointment to have an MRI. I've had a ganglion cyst on the wrist in the past, three of them.
"By jarring it, some fluid has come out of the joint and into the cyst sac there. It's touching on the nerve so I'm just getting a little bit of pain. I'll be chewing some anti-inflammatories and some painkillers but it's good news, there's no tendon, joint or bone damage.
"At least I can rest assured if I'm in the rough, I can have a go at it 100 per cent and know that I'm not going to do any damage.
"The pain is bearable. It's an acute pain, but I played a lot of golf with the first cyst so I'm not worried about it and I wouldn't withdraw because of it.
"I've just got to wait until I get back to America to see my doctor, shove another needle in there."
A closing 67 – bettered only by champion Phil Mickelson's 66 – lifted Poulter into a share of third place 12 months ago, while he was ninth in 2012 and second behind Padraig Harrington at Birkdale in 2008.
But anyone asking for his memories of missing the cut when the Open was last staged at Hoylake in 2006 is in for a disappointment.
"I've erased all of them," he said. "I really don't pay any attention to missed cuts. I get rid of them. I don't like them. I detest them and I erase them.
"Sorry to cut that one really short!" he added.
"But honestly, there's no good coming out of 2006 so I really don't need to waste any of my brain cells thinking back to a bad week.
"It's a totally different golf course. It's not quite as firm and fast this year so I treat this week as a new week, albeit a course that I've played, where I know what I need to do."