WALTHAM, Mass. — Whenever the Celtics visit the Orlando
Magic, professional golfer Ian Poulter gets prime seats at the Amway Center and
makes a stop in the visitor’s locker room. The next time Poulter drops in,
though, he might receive a chilly reception.
Poulter and Celtics coach Doc Rivers both make their
offseason homes in the Orlando area, and their shared love of golf has made
them fast friends. In the wake of the U.S. team’s shocking collapse in the
Ryder Cup this weekend, Rivers received text messages on Monday from two Ryder
Cup competitors — one welcomed, the other not so welcomed.
“Keegan [Bradley] and I texted back and forth, so that
was pretty cool,” Rivers said. “Unfortunately, Ian and I also texted
back and forth, so that was not cool.”
The English-born Poulter sparked the European team’s
stirring comeback at Medinah Country Club in Illinois with a surge on Saturday
that sparked Europe to a 14 1/2-13 1/2 victory. The improbable comeback –
coupled with the U.S. team’s total disintegration — was immediately dubbed
“The Miracle at Medinah.”
For Poulter, it was a career-defining performance. Rivers
called it “awful” and also said he was retracting the open invitation
for Poulter to visit the Celtics locker room. Any red-blooded American who
watched the events unfold at Medinah on Saturday and Sunday cannot blame him.