'Mr Ryder Cup' Poulter revved up to go again

Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:05pm EDT
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By Mitch Phillips

GLENEAGLES Scotland (Reuters) - Ian Poulter has become the symbolic beating heart of Europe's Ryder Cup team, the man the home players and fans will look to and player the Americans want to beat so badly it hurts.

And he is absolutely loving it all.

Rarely, if ever, has a player produced such sustained brilliance in the biennial tournament while at the same time struggling to make an impact on the regular tours as Poulter has in recent years.

Seldom can one player's performance -- and demeanor -- have had such a defining impact as Poulter's did two years ago when he was so instrumental in Europe's fightback from 10-4 down to take the unlikeliest of victories.

The statistics are impressive enough, but still tell only half the story.

Poulter has won 12 of his 15 matches, including all four singles, in four Ryder Cups. That 80 percent success rate is the best by any European ever and the best by anyone from either side who has played in at least three tournaments.

He has won 11 of his last 12 matches, including seven in a row.

Since the last of them, however, success has been scarce, with a solitary tournament victory a month later and a dire 2014 including only one top-10 finish.   Continued...

European Ryder Cup player Ian Poulter laughs during practice ahead of the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland September 23, 2014. REUTERS/Toby Melville