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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 July, 2004, 18:37 GMT 19:37 UK
Poulter defends dress sense
England's Ian Poulter
Englishman Ian Poulter has justified his decision to wear a pair of flamboyant Union Jack trousers during the opening round of the Open.

Golf officials said they had received "a lot" of complaints about Poulter's colourful choice of clothes.

But the player, who carded a level par 71 at Royal Troon, hit back, insisting: "Golf should be livened up.

"There are too many boring characters who don't have much spark apart from their golf game."

Poulter added: "It was good fun - people were smiling and laughing and I received a few wolf whistles.

"That's what it's all about, it's good to go out there and enjoy it and let the crowd enjoy it as well.

"They are a normal pair of trousers, it is just that they are pretty colourful.

We shall not be asking Ian to change his trousers
R&A chief executive Peter Dawson
"I don't like the way most people dress on the golf course. My personality is not like that and I want to be slightly different.

"My sporting heroes are the likes of Ronnie O'Sullivan, Muhammad Ali, Pele and of course the late Payne Stewart, all colourful characters."

The 28-year-old had his trousers made by a Saville Row tailors and intends to auction them for charity.

The Royal & Ancient, the game's governing body, admitted Poulter had not broken any rules with his outlandish outfit.

"There is no clause in the rules which says anything about Union Jack trousers and we shall not be asking Ian to change them," said chief executive Peter Dawson.

"Ian is known for trying to be different with his appearance and all you can do is hope players adhere to the dress code on the European Tour."

Poulter added he had eight other pairs of "classy" trousers to choose from for the remainder of the tournament.

Highlights: First round

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