Ian Poulter said he always tries to stay mindful of charity whenever he tees it up in a PGA TOUR event. "It's a part of what we do, why the tournaments even exist," the colorful Englishman said.
When he plays in the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard, Poulter, an Orlando resident, is even more in tune with the charitable mission. Proceeds of the tournament benefit Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies, where Poulter's wife, Katie, gave birth to two of the couple's four children. Lily Mai was born in 2009 and Joshua James last January.
"It's such an unbelievable facility," gushed Poulter, who also has a home in Buckinghamshire in his native England. "It's a neat connection for me, so from the aspect of the charity situation I am certainly one who appreciates what tournaments do for charities. But in the case of Bay Hill, it means a lot more for sure, and I always try to help out and contribute to that cause any way I can."
Poulter, 37, who is a MasterCard ambassador, is eager for his eighth appearance in the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard and with good reason. He is coming off a career-best third-place finish at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge, his first top-10 finish on the Championship Course. Poulter shot rounds of 71-69-68-74-282, seven strokes behind winner Tiger Woods. He had posted just one score in the 60s in his previous 16 rounds before his 2012 effort.
"Frankly, I just wish that I could play better here," said Poulter, who had missed four of five cuts before a tie for 12th in 2011. "The course is 20 minutes from my front door and I am affiliated with MasterCard, so I have a lot to play for. I like the golf course, but for some reason it's been a bit of a challenge for me to put together four good rounds. Almost got there last year. Tiger was too much for us. Hopefully, I can do a little better this year and get to the top. I couldn't think of anything better than shaking Arnold's hand again on a Sunday afternoon after winning his tournament."