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Ian Poulter hits back at Scottish Open marshall who branded English golfer 'an a***hole'

By Gareth Hanna

Ian Poulter has explained the course of events at last weekend's Scottish Open that led to the Londonder being branded 'an a***hole' by a volunteer marshall.

Best-selling crime author Quintin Jardine, a member at Gullane, was on duty at the opening hole during Saturday's third round, when Poulter hit a wayward tee-shot that ended up in a spot of trouble.

That's when, according to Jardine, "Mr Poulter arrived in a shower of expletives" and asked where his ball was.

“I told him and said that I had not ventured into the bush for fear of standing on it. I wasn’t expecting thanks, but I wasn’t expecting aggression either," Jardine wrote on his blog.

“He told me in essence that I should have, his reasoning being that if I stood on the ball it was a free drop, whereas if he did it was a penalty… He (later) came back at me and said again that next time … I should go straight in there feet first.”

Poulter, however, has issued a reply, claiming that he simply explained why a marshall standing on his ball in an attempt to find it wouldn't be a big issue while if the player himself did so, it would cause a penalty stroke.

He said: "Extremely sad to see a marshall has wrote in and complained about me aiming abuse at him on the first hole.

"I asked if he found my ball and his response was 'it's in there somewhere, I didn't want to step on it'. I replied, 'If you stand on it I can replace it without penalty but if I stand on it I will get penalized'.

"Venting at myself like I do at times, I said a couple of choice words aimed at myself. I do not abuse Marshall's (sic). I may have done in my early years.

"After I played my shot I said to the Marshall "I'm not frustrated at you I just want you to know the rule in case you come across the situation again. He said, 'ok thanks'."

Jardine has since, in another blog post, said he did not say 'ok thanks' and instead brought up footballing rivalries , namely Belgium after they defeated England at the World Cup and Tottenham as Poulter is an outspoken Arsenal supporter.

"In retrospect I should probably have kept the dispute private, but it’s out of the box now, and I must rely on the Tour to make a judgement," Jardine wrote.

"Mr Poulter has gone public to his two million Twitter followers with his version of events. All I can say is that I stand by mine and at no time did I ever utter the words ‘OK thanks.’ What I did say was ‘Vive Les Belges.’ Now I wish I’d said ‘Come on you Spurs,’ as that really would have pushed his buttons.

"I still hope to hear from him, but I don’t expect to. That won’t bother me, not a bit."

Poulter will tee it up at this week's Open Championship, grouped along with Cameron Smith and Brooks Koepka for the opening two rounds.

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