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Ian Poulter, the lucky charm of Europeans, wants to “annoy” American fans one last time


We have finally found a reason to be vaguely favorable to Gianni Infantino’s new hobby of a biennial World Cup. Three years without the Ryder Cup since the legendary Parisian weekend in 2018 is a lot, a lot, a lot, too long. Here we are, finally, twelve months after the scheduled date, because Covid. Name of the route? Whistling Straits, in the suburbs of Milwaukee. The staff report on the forces present? Substantially the same as before each edition.

Americans largely favored on the flipchart, carried by the logic of the classification, in addition, this time, to popular support: European nationals not having the right to travel to the United States before November, our twelve proud European representatives risk to feel very lonely in the middle of the starry banners and the “USA” bellowed along the course by 45,000 supporters drowned in the tankard. But when among those twelve, one can count on Ian Poulter, it is like being a Spartan warrior led by King Leonidas before the Battle of Thermopylae.

“Who has a better ratio than mine?” “

The great British stakes haven’t taken out clubs often this season. And when he did, his results didn’t shock followers. But no one doubted that the “postman” – “the one who always delivers on time” in original version – would be there, by the door or by the window. Poulter was therefore entitled to the little wild card out of the hat at the last moment. And those who grumbled in their corner against this obvious choice took a 9 iron in the teeth, evidenced by this intervention granted to the Guardian :

“Did I earn enough Ryder Cup points to be selected? I can name players who were taken automatically and who never earned a point [coucou, Tiger]. I think I did my job, with 68% of points won in the competition. Who has a higher ratio than mine? I’m not here to gargle, but I think I’ve contributed a lot to the Ryder Cup and what it stands for, right? I kissed her with both of my but and brought back all the points I could. “

Exactly 15 out of 22, in singles, doubles, threesome, foursome, fourballs, whatever you want, for five wins for the European team in six appearances on his side. If Sergio Garcia, the absolute point record holder in the event, is the “cement of the team, the one around which everyone agrees”, as the former captain Thomas Bjorn nicely told in Saint-Quentin-en -Yvelines, Ian Poulter is the one who transcends Europe better than anyone, especially when she lags at the bottom of the scoreboard on Friday.

The eternal memory of the 2012 edition

His personal mythology in the ordeal always refers to the same place. Medinah 2012, not very far from here. The Europeans at the full pickup on Saturday evening (10-4), and Poulter not much better on board with his friend Mcllroy before an incredible finish: five consecutive birdies from the parking lot to start the European comeback, which took place on Sunday. The sight of Poulter’s eyes hallucinated by the excitement of his last successful putt still haunts American nights.

“It’s as if he manages to get in the most crucial putts when he needs them, and get the right shots at the right time,” admits Steve Stricker, the opposing captain, who himself suffered from Poulter’s assaults on the field in 2008. In the Ryder Cup, he knows how to raise his level of play well above what he usually achieves on the circuit. He somewhat embodies the backbone of the European team. I hope this year we will find a way to make him lose one or two games to change. But it is not an easy thing. “

A reputation as a European rock that has earned Poulter over the years to have become the number 1 enemy of the American public, who regularly show him off on the PGA Tour, some smart kids even having to be escorted out of the course after crossing the line. “It seems that we can’t agree on much these days in the United States, but if there is one point that can make all American golf fans agree? , it is to hate Ian Poulter with all the passion in the world during a Ryder Cup weekend ”, sums up in his own way a colleague of Golf digest.

Last appearance outside?

The Englishman is playing a lot, of course, and even more this year, he who knows that at 46, he is probably playing his last Ryder Cup on American soil, before probably coming back as captain, perhaps as early as 2025 “I know I annoyed more than one in front of the television by dint of winning, but I’m not going to apologize for that.” This week, in order to win local favors, we saw him strolling on the greens with a triangular hat in the shape of a cheese, as a nod to fans of the Green Bay Packers, the team American football club. “The American fans have been great so far. They wished me good luck, for real. Not too much luck either, but good luck, which is a nice thing. It hasn’t always been the case here, so that’s good news ”. We’ll talk about it again on Friday at the start of tee number 1.




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