Poulter: I'll be ready
Ian Poulter says he will be “more than ready” for the Ryder Cup after being named as one of Europe captain Paul McGinley’s three wild card picks.
Poulter’s sensational Ryder Cup record – he has won 12 of his 15 matches – made him a near-certainty to get the nod from McGinley.
Stephen Gallacher and Lee Westwood were the other two captain’s picks, with Luke Donald missing out.
Poulter’s performance during the ‘Miracle of Medinah’ two years ago will go down as one of the great Ryder Cup efforts.
The 38-year-old won all four of his matches and famously birdied the last five holes alongside Rory McIlroy to beat Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson in the Saturday fourballs
Poulter has not been in the best of form this season but he told Sky Sports News HQ: “My game is coming round just in time.
"Experience is key and this is going to be my fifth Ryder Cup. Westy is going to play his ninth so there is a lot of experience in the side. That’s exactly what you need when you have got a few rookies."
“I’m very, very excited – Gleneagles is going to be an incredible week. The American side are very, very strong and very tough to beat. But I think with Paul’s picks and the nine guys who had already made the team, we are going to be strong. We’re going to do the job.”
McGinley said Poulter’s renowned passion on and off the course was a key factor in picking him, admitting his unforgettable Medinah performance was “one of the greatest achievements by anyone in any sport.”
McGinley warned Poulter that the “Americans are gunning for him” – but the Englishman insists that will be nothing new.
“I had a target on my back last time so it’s not going to be any different this time,” he said.
“The record I have in the Ryder Cup I guess does make me a target. I’m very vocal – not only in the changing room but on the golf course. I fist-pump every putt home. I make it known that I like to enjoy the passion of the Ryder Cup. That’s going to be no different this time round. I’m going to work on my game very, very hard in the next three weeks. I’m going to be more than ready.”
Poulter says he is keen to help the three rookies in the team - Victor Dubuisson, Jamie Donaldson and Gallacher.
“Experience is key and this is going to be my fifth Ryder Cup. Westy is going to play his ninth so there is a lot of experience in the side. That’s exactly what you need when you have got a few rookies,” he said.
“The three rookies that are in the team come to the Ryder Cup in incredible form. All of them have won tournaments and looking at that, the guys with the experience can come in with the rookies and make this an unbelievable team.
“We’re so close in Team Europe, and everyone gets on so well. We see it year in, year out that the European Ryder Cup bond is so strong. I can’t wait to spend some time with the rookies and just share some experience of what’s happened in previous Ryder Cups and hopefully make them feel at home, so they can go out there and do their jobs.”
Coverage of the Ryder Cup starts on September 26 on channel 405.