Ian Poulter has been offered an eye-watering sum to join a breakaway golf league – but faces being ostracised from the main tours.
As first reported by the Telegraph, the Englishman has been offered £22 million by the Saudi-backed Super Golf League as part of its bid to attract the biggest names in the sport.
However, it is understood that if he accepts the money, he will face a lifetime ban from the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and the Ryder Cup – the tournament for which he is most associated.
Poulter, who has career earnings of around £50 million in prize money, has represented Europe seven times and was a vice-captain in 2016.
The Postman – the nickname earned because he “always delivers” at the Ryder Cup – now faces a tough call over whether to accept the life-changing mountain of cash.
On one hand, it would provide certain security for his family, but it would mean passing up the near-certainty of being named European captain at some point in the future.
Other big names in the sport have already been courted by the Saudi venture, including Poulter’s close friend Henrik Stenson.
The Swede was thought to be the front-runner to lead the team in 2023, but has been told he must guarantee he will not join the breakaway league.
Both players are set to play in this week’s Saudi International, which has attracted a strong field thanks to the vast appearance fees paid out to the game’s top players.