Ian Poulter: Players Championship runner-up upbeat after 'toughest stretch'

Ian Poulter
Ian Poulter has won two World Golf Championship events, in 2010 and 2012

Ian Poulter is looking forward to planning a "very long schedule" after overcoming injury problems in "the toughest stretch" of his career.

Poulter, 41, was runner-up at the Players Championship on Sunday, his best finish since November 2014.

The Englishman, once fifth in the world rankings, missed four months last year with a foot injury and says even now he is only operating at "75%".

"It's been miserable, really hard - but we're getting there," he told the BBC.

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Poulter's injury problems caused him to drop out of the top 200 and ended a run of five consecutive Ryder Cup appearances, in which he won 14 points from 18 matches.

Having secured a medical exemption to play on the PGA Tour, he missed the cut in his first two events back and feared he had lost his card last month after failing to gain the requisite earnings in the allotted time frame.

However, the PGA Tour decided its rules "unintentionally made it more difficult" for injured players and Poulter was allowed to continue for the rest of this season.

At the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass - often referred to as the unofficial fifth major of the year - Poulter was in contention for a first PGA Tour victory since 2012, but finished three shots behind winner Kim Si-woo, the event's youngest champion.

"It has been miserable, there's no other way to explain it," Poulter told BBC Sport.

"When you're taking a break for several months, when your world ranking plummets, when you miss Ryder Cups, when you find yourself in a position chasing down to try and keep your tour card.

"It's obviously been the toughest stretch of my career. We're still working through some things to try and be 100% there. I think I'm at 75%.

"I can now plan a very long schedule and work out exactly what I'm doing.

"I'm going to have a nice summer with the kids in the UK. I think I'll be playing a lot in the UK this summer."

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