We thought he was gone at the game, but a mini-revival this season sees Ian Poulter back where he belongs … front & centre at the Ryder Cup.
For so long he’s been Europe’s talismanic figure with his fist-pumping, eyes bulging and controlled aggression. Poulter is the fan’s favourite as he puts it up to jingoistic chants of of USA! USA!
Here’s three of the English pro’s best moments ahead of tee-off on Friday morning for Ryder Cup 2018 in Paris.
The Miracle of Medinah 2012
It will long be remembered as a fitting tribute to the spirit of Seve Ballesteros – but it was sparked by Ian Poulter.
Europe looked down and out on the Saturday before Poults birdied his last five holes in the fourballs to deliver a vital point for the visitors.
Poulter dragged himself and playing partner Rory McIlroy from two down with six to play against Jason Dufner and Dustin Johnson to cut the Yanks’ lead to 10-6 heading into the final day. In the fading light and with the Americans already posting a birdie, Poulter needed his 10-foot putt on the last to ensure Team Europe secured a winning point.
What followed in the Sunday singles was the stuff of legend as they secured eight and a half points from 12 to retain the trophy. The Postman had delivered again.
Going for glory at Gleneagles 2014
Having suffered a 5&4 loss in the fourballs on the Friday morning – Poulter was pissed. A day later he teamed up with Rory McIlroy, but was staring defeat in the face again as the pair were one down with four to play against Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker.
With Europe just a precious point ahead, Poulter’s 50-yard chip put them back in the game. It helped secure the vital halve three holes later for Team Europe, who held the lead going into Saturday afternoon, before eventually running out 16.5 to 11.5 winners.
Valhalla wildcard 2008
Poulter’s debut as a wildcard pick by Nick Faldo attracted no little controversy. But as the Paul Azinger-led Team USA wrapped up a five-point win, Poulter could at least hold his head high as he contributed four points from five matches to the cause. More than any other player on the European – or the USA.
The fist-pumping, eye-bulging Ryder Cup warrior had been born.