Ian Poulter accepts the hard work must begin now after he lost his PGA Tour card by missing the cut at the Valero Texas Open.

The Ryder Cup favourite, a two-time winner on tour, needed to bank at least £23,905 by finishing in the top 30 in San Antonio but he was unable to make it to the weekend.

Poulter has been playing on a medical exemption following a foot operation last year but, with that expiring, he needed to earn his card.

The 41-year-old, who has a highest finish of 11th this season, may still be seen at PGA events but will now require invitations if he is to appear on the PGA circuit. He is still eligible to play on the European Tour and can go through qualifying for the forthcoming US Open and Open.

"When the chips are down you find out who your real friends really are."

"This is not to say the clubs are going to go away and you are never going to see me again," Poulter told Sky Sports 4.

"It means I have got some work to do. I am playing next week in New Orleans and who knows, golf is a funny game I could easily win and then things are a little different.

"But I don't know if I will be in tournaments or out of tournaments so what it will mean is, and what is the most frustrating thing for the next few months, I can't plan a schedule. I have to be ready to go on any given Monday to go to an event.

"I will try and qualify for the US Open, I will try and qualify for the Open, I will play some events in Europe, I will try and play some events over here, so I will do what I have to do."

A first round of three over left him facing an uphill challenge and Friday's one-under 71 was not enough to keep him in the mix.

He managed four birdies in the front nine but also made three bogeys to stifle his momentum.

Tweeting after his round, Poulter wrote: "The best thing about golf is it gives you what you deserve, Also when the chips are down you find out who your real friends really are !!!!!"

Responding to one message of support from a fan, he added: "I guess the road needs re tarmacking after a good few miles. A career isn't a career without the odd bump along they way."