Ian Poulter rips Hideki Matsuyama


DORAL, Fla. -- Hideki Matsuyama apologized to Ian Poulter on Saturday morning, one day after the Englishman took to Twitter and called the Japanese star an "idiot" for damaging a green by thrusting his putter into it and then not repairing it during the second round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

Matsuyama learned of Poulter's displeasure early Saturday morning. The two were paired together for the third round.

Before their tee time, Matsuyama walked down the practice range with an interpreter when he saw Poulter and apologized. Poulter explained why he thought it was wrong and then said to him, "No words," meaning the incident was over.

Matsuyama also apologized prior to the round to Charl Schwartzel and Jason Dufner -- who were in Poulter's group Friday, one group behind the 22-year-old rookie.

"At the time, I didn't think I did it so strong, making the divot on the green,'' Matsuyama told Japanese reporters in remarks that were translated. "Upsetting the players behind me means I did it.

"I was not careful enough. I need to be more careful about etiquette and manners in the future.''

Matsuyama shot a 1-under 71 on Saturday.

Poulter, meanwhile, hurried away from reporters after carding a 73, saying Matsuyama also needed to apologize to the other players in his group Friday -- which he had done.

On Friday night, Poulter sent out a series of tweets blasting Matsuyama for his conduct on the green earlier in the day.

"Playing with Matsuyama tomo. He buried his putter in the 13th green 5ft from the hole. Referee had to repair the crater. Because he didn't," Poulter wrote via his Twitter account.

Matsuyama has been a pro for less than a year but has three victories on the Japan Tour, earned his PGA Tour card last year and is ranked 22nd in the world.

Poulter's play on the 13th was not affected. The damage was in Schwartzel's line.

Poulter had plenty more to say on Twitter.

"Why should Matsuyama leave a crater in the green for others to putt over, or have to call to repair the damage. Idiot," he wrote.

When asked by a Twitter follower whether he would "speak to him like a man or just blast him on Twitter like all the other keyboard warriors," Poulter replied, "I can't wait to."

The Englishman also Tweeted: "I'm no saint and first to say. But that was disgusting. I wouldn't bury a putter in a green 5 ft from a hole and have players behind deal with it."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.