Poulter plays through car trouble in San Diego

SAN DIEGO – Ian Poulter is a different sort, comical at times and serious at others.

The Englishman was neither when he came out of dinner Friday night at a San Diego Korean barbecue to find his courtesy car missing.

It turned out it wasn’t missing, but towed.

Swearing to his caddie Terry Mundy that he had parked it in a particular space, Poulter was convinced his car was stolen right up to the point he approached the parking lot security attendant who was on duty.

“Somebody’s nicked my car,” said Poulter, using the British slang for theft, to the parking-lot attendant. “No, it hasn’t,” the attendant said. “I towed it away.”

The attendant went on to explain to Poulter that he ate at the wrong restaurant, pointing to the one in which he went and the ones that would have been OK.

Poulter was incensed and insists that the attendant got a kickback for having the car towed when he parked in the wrong lot, basically scamming him.

“That was frightfully nice of you. Thank you ever so much for towing my car,” Poulter said in a tongue-in-cheek manner. “He didn’t care. He tows my car, he makes some commission.’

Poulter called the number for the towing company and was told he needed to bring proof of insurance and ownership.

Because it was a tournament courtesy car, Poulter was stuck and eventually called Uber, an app-based transportation company, for a ride to his hotel.

Despite the commotion, Poulter has shown little rust in his first PGA Tour event of 2015. He stands only three shots out of the lead of Harris English and J.B Holmes on a golf course – the South Course at Torrey Pines – that can take away shots very easily.

“Happy, played nicely, gave myself lots of chances and looks at birdie,” Poulter said of his 1-over 73 on Saturday. “I haven’t played a lot of golf in two months.”

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