Ian Poulter's exploits in the Ryder Cup did much to cement his status as one of golf's true global superstars. Yet it wasn't that long ago that he was a complete nobody. Not since Ian Woosnam has the European Tour produced a bigger rags-to-riches story.
Poulter might now fly around in private jets, have homes in England, Florida and the Bahamas and never have to worry about money again, but about 15 years ago his future was anything but predictable.
Nothing in the flamboyant Englishman's background predicted near-cult status as Europe's Ryder Cup hero. Even Poulter sometimes has trouble coming to terms with his never-have-to-worry-again lifestyle. "It is sometimes a bit surreal when I drive past the house I grew up in," Poulter said.
Poulter grew up in Stevenage, England. He began playing golf, as many small boys do, by following his father, Terry, around Stevenage Municipal with an old cut-down 3-wood. Although he showed proficiency for the game, he didn't have the luxury of pla...