Poulter says friendships will survive golf's civil war

·2-min read

Ian Poulter said long-standing friendships with other golfers have not been affected by a public war of words over the Englishman's decision to join the Saudi-backed breakaway LIV tour.

Poulter is one of 24 players to join the rebel organisation playing at the 150th British Open at St Andrews this week and was booed as he teed off at the first hole.

Tour organisers the R&A and Tiger Woods became the latest golfing figureheads this week to criticise those who have jumped at the chance to take the huge signing bonuses offered by the LIV tour.

However, Poulter, 46, said the ongoing row has not affected his relationships in private with his rivals.

"You can have a difference of opinion of how the landscape lies with it, but that should never get in the way of a friendship," said Poulter after shooting a three under par first round at the Old Course.

"I have always respected my peers that I play golf with and I don't think that's going to change one bit.

"Even the people that have been vocal have been pretty decent to me, so whether they accept that I'm just an old fart and let him go about his business, I don't know. But I've only had good comments."

Poulter had initially been banned from last week's Scottish Open for playing in the first two LIV events.

However, he had that suspension temporarily lifted after taking legal action.

On the course, Poulter was not so successful at the Renaissance Club as he shot 10 over for his two rounds and missed the cut.

He admitted to getting too distracted by the off-field row and has taken himself off social media to try and concentrate on the job at hand this week.

"This could be my last Open Championship at St Andrews so I'm trying to enjoy it, despite the questioning," added Poulter.

"I'm staying off social media, I'm just here to play golf.

"I can only do my job. If I listen to a lot of nonsense then I'm going to get distracted and that's never going to be good for me."

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