The Englishman will base himself in Europe this summer to earn both World and European Ryder Cup points
Ian Poulter To Play Summer In Europe To Boost Ryder Cup Bid
Ian Poulter will base himself in Europe over the summer months to boost his Ryder Cup hopes for Le Golf National in September.
The five-time Ryder Cup player missed 2016’s match due to injury so was as a Vice-Captain to Darren Clarke as Europe lost 17-11 at Hazeltine.
He famously inspired the European side to victory at Medinah in 2012, where he birdied the final five holes on the Saturday to close the deficit to four points with a day to go.
He then beat Webb Simpson 2up in the singles as Europe won 14.5-13.5.
The Englishman is currently outside of the automatic qualification places but his victory at the Shell Houston Open propelled him into the world’s top 50 and has qualified him for the year’s final three majors and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational before the Ryder Cup.
His Houston win has also helped his chances of reaching the FedEx Cup finale at the Tour Championship at East Lake.
“It’s a massive goal,” he said of making the Ryder Cup.
“It’s on my mind. I really need to focus hard on the next three months, four months, big European push. Obviously there’s a lot of points to play for in Europe. So I’m really trying to focus on making sure I make that team and don’t have to be a [captain’s] pick.”
By teeing it up on the European Tour from now until the Ryder Cup, Poulter can accrue both World Points (from the world rankings) and European Points (from the European Tour events).
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“It’s important but it’s not important,” Poulter said. “My season this year is going to really be focused about playing great golf. There’s an event late September which means a lot to me, and obviously I’m going to want to put myself in that position. So after this week I’ll head back to Europe. I’m going to base myself in Europe for the summer.”
The 42-year-old will play in next week’s BMW PGA Championship and then the Italian Open the week after, both of which are Rolex Series events.
He will then play in the US Open at Shinnecock Hills before returning to his home continent for the French, Irish and Scottish Opens before The Open at Carnoustie.
The French, Irish and Scottish Opens are all Rolex Series events and his appearance in the French Open will see him play the Ryder Cup course at Le Golf National. A win there would all but secure a spot on the team.
That leaves him with the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, USPGA Championship and FedEx Cup Playoffs prior to the Ryder Cup.
Poulter is currently one place outside of the automatic qualification in the World Points list and well back in the European Points list, although he will hope to climb that considerably with some good showings on the European Tour this summer.
Four players each qualify through the World and European Points lists along with four wildcard picks.
If he fails to qualify automatically, it will be hard for Thomas Bjorn to look past him after winning the Houston Open and re-finding his form in the past couple of years.
He dropped to 197th in the world last May and currently sits at 28th.
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The Ryder Cup takes place from 28-30th September.