HOYLAKE England (Reuters) - Europe’s Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter declared himself fit for this week’s British Open despite a wrist injury but said on Tuesday he will be chewing on pain killers to get through.
The 38-year-old Englishman jarred his right wrist at last week’s Scottish Open, where he missed the cut, aggravating a previous problem with a ganglion cyst and putting his participation at the Royal Liverpool course in doubt.
After an MRI scan in Leeds on Monday, however, Poulter said there was no tendon damage and he was “ready to go”.
“I’ve had a ganglion cyst on the wrist in the past, I had three of them,” Poulter, who failed to make the cut the last time the British Open was on the Merseyside coast, told reporters at a news conference.
“They’ve all be syringed but by jarring the wrist and taking the force of a whack, some of the fluid has come out of the joint and into the cyst sack that’s there.
“It’s touching a nerve so I’m getting a little pain in the area. I’ll be chewing on anti-inflammatories and some painkillers for the week to try and get rid of some of the pain.
“But it’s good news, there’s no tendon damage, and no joint damage or bone damage. So if I’m in the rough I know I can give it 100 percent and not do any damage,” he said.
Poulter irritated his wrist on the 14th and 18th holes at Royal Aberdeen last week and was still in pain when he arrived at Hoylake, restricting himself to putting only on Sunday.
“I’m not worried about it,” he said. “I wouldn’t withdraw because of it. I’ve just got to wait until I get back to America to see my doctor, shove another needle in there.”
Poulter, who sported a light bandage on his right wrist, was tied for third at Muirfield last year, yet his previous visit to Hoylake in 2006 ended in an early exit.
“I’ve erased all of them,” Poulter said when asked what his memories were of eight years ago. “I really don’t pay attention to missed cuts. I get rid of them.
“I don’t want to waste any of my brain cells thinking back to a bad week.”
Poulter, the inspiration behind the “Miracle of Medinah” when Europe staged a thrilling comeback to beat the United States at the Ryder Cup in Illinois in 2012, is still waiting to land the first major victory of his career.
He was runner-up to Ireland’s Padraig Harrington in the 2008 British Open at Royal Birkdale before his bold effort last year when he staged a fourth-round charge.
“There’s some good players that play this game,” he said of the lack of Englishmen to win their home Open since Nick Faldo’s 1992 triumph. “There’s a lot of players in form that have definitely got a chance this week.”
There will not be any demons on the course too, according to Poulter who last year described some of Muirfield’s greens as being like “crazy-golf” holes.
“I think once you’ve found the putting surface, you’ve got a fairly flat putt from pretty much anywhere, apart from a couple of holes,” Poulter said. “So there’s no windmills this year.
Additional reporting by Tony Jimenez; Editing by John O'Brien/Tony Goodson