Poulter to keep PGA Tour card after points structure adjusted

Ian Poulter of England on February 5, 2017 in Dubai

England's Ian Poulter hasn't lost his PGA Tour playing status after all, officials of the US tour announced on Saturday.

The tour said Poulter and American Brian Gay will keep their cards after a recalibration of the FedEx Cup playoff points structure for players competing on major medical exemptions.

"It's obviously a big bit of good news," Poulter told the Golf Channel in New Orleans, where he is competing in the Zurich Classic.

"For the tour to unanimously decide that was the fair thing to do, today puts me in a very different situation for playing my schedule and playing all the remaining events I'd like to play to keep going in the right direction."

Poulter thought he had lost his playing status on the US PGA Tour after missing the cut at the Texas Open last week.

That was the 10th and final event of his major medical exemption, granted after he missed most of last season with foot arthritis.

The tour said in a statement Saturday that its switch to using FedEx Cup points rather than the money list to determine playing status "unintentionally made it more difficult for these players to retain their exempt status."

"The spirit of the medical extension has always been to provide the same opportunity a player would have had if he had not been injured to retain his card, and in this case the bar was moved significantly," the statement said.

Poulter insisted last week that the prospect of losing his US tour card had been "over-dramatized."

But he admitted Saturday the news was a relief after he'd been "under an awful lot of pressure to play golf, when you've come under a lot of tricky questions in the past month and being subjected to some social-media abuse."