Ian Poulter struggles to opening-round 75 at the Valero Texas Open
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 21/04/17 6:18am
Ian Poulter’s hopes of retaining his PGA Tour card have suffered a serious setback after a disappointing opening round at the Valero Texas Open.
Poulter, playing the final tournament under his medical extension, struggled to a three-over 75 at TPC San Antonio to sit nine strokes adrift of early pacesetter Branden Grace.
The 41-year-old needs to win $30,624 this week to retain his full playing privileges, which is expected to require around a top-30 finish, but now faces a battle just to make the cut.
Beginning on the back nine, Poulter failed to get up-and-down from the bunker to save par at the 10th and bogeyed the next after taking two attempts from eight feet.
A further blemish at the par-five 14th saw the Englishman reach the turn in 39, with Poulter continuing his slide down the leaderboard with another dropped shot at the fourth.
Poulter avoided any further damage along the closing stretch and rolled in from six feet to post his only birdie of the day at the par-five eighth.
The Englishman had the chance to secure his playing rights at last week's RBC Heritage but missed out after posting a two-over 73 on Sunday at Hilton Head.
Should Poulter fail to earn the required prize money this week, then the five-time Ryder Cup player will rely on sponsor's invitations for the remainder of the season.
Watch the Valero Texas Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports 4 - your home of golf