Team Europe's Ryder Cup captain, Darren Clarke, has named Ian Poulter vice captain, after the Englishman recently revealed a foot injury would stop him from competing in October's match
Team Europe’s Ryder Cup captain, Darren Clarke, has named Ian Poulter vice captain, after the Englishman recently revealed a foot injury would stop him from competing in October’s match against the United States at Hazeltine National.
The 40-year-old Englishman will become Clarke’s fourth vice captain, alongside Thomas Bjorn, Padraig Harrington and Paul Lawrie, with Clarke expected to add a fifth and final vice captain later this summer.
Poulter will bring a wealth of experience to Team Europe’s team room, having played five times – 2004 at Oakland Hills, 2008 at Valhalla, 2010 at Celtic Manor, 2012 at Medinah and 2014 at Gleneagles – where he helped Europe to victory on four occasions and, even in the loss at Valhalla, was still the top points scorer with four points out of five.
Poulter had harboured hopes of making his sixth Ryder Cup appearance in Minnesota, but announced last week that a troublesome arthritic joint injury in his right foot has forced him to take a four-month break.
Talking about it all, Poulter said: “When it became clear, given my current foot condition, that I would not be in a position to try and qualify for the team for a sixth time this year or indeed be able to justify a wild card pick, I was truly honoured and delighted to be asked by Darren to be a vice captain.
“The best moments of my career have come when I have been wearing the blue and gold crest of Europe on my chest, knowing at the same time that the contest means so much to every European player and to every European fan, either in the crowd or watching back home on television.
“Darren shares that same passion and he knows I will be there to assist him and the 12 players who will line up at Hazeltine in any way I can.
“We have a tremendous record in The Ryder Cup in recent times, having played with passion, desire and commitment. It is something we should be proud of and, rest assured, I will do everything in my power to maintain that intensity and help Europe’s quest to retain the trophy.”
Talking about his latest vice captain, Clarke said: “Ian’s Ryder Cup record speaks for itself and stands comparison with anyone in the history of this great contest. It goes without saying what a vital presence he will be in our team room.
“I picked Ian as a wild card for Europe’s EurAsia Cup team in January and I saw first-hand his influence off the golf course, especially amongst the younger players who were experiencing team match play golf for the first time. When he spoke, everyone listened, and the same will be the case at Hazeltine.”