After dropping outside the world top 50 and losing his guaranteed WGC start, Ian Poulter needed Rich Beem to give him his Hong Kong Open invite to fulfil his 13 European Tour events and remain eligable
Ian Poulter almost made ineligible for Ryder Cup
Such is Ian Poulter‘s record in The Ryder Cup that he has earned the nickname ‘the postman’ – because he always delivers. However, the Englishman will have the actual postal service to thank if he makes Darren Clarke’s team next year at Hazeltine.
As reported by The Telegraph, a series of events that included Andy Sullivan jumping him in the world rankings meant that after Sunday’s global tournaments, Poulter moved from 46th to 51st and was no longer eligable to play in the upcoming WGC HSBC Champions tournament.
This would have stopped him from making at least 13 European Tour appearances, a prerequisite to being a member of the Tour, which is in turn a prerequisite for being able to play in the Ryder Cup.
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So the equation became simple. Poulter needed to play in this week’s Hong Kong Open to reach 13 events.
That’s where the real delivery men of the world came to his rescue, as well as Rich Beem.
Poulter’s passport was only delivered to him mere hours before his flight was due to leave from Florida. Without that stroke of luck he’d be watching Europe’s defense of the Ryder Cup next year on a sofa.
That was only the beginning of the good fortune for the Englishman.
Beem was in the field for this week’s event thanks to a sponsor’s invite, but pulled out so that Poulter could take his place and save his chances of playing in another Ryder Cup.
It would have been inconceivable for Poulter to have missed out on next year’s event. His stunning performance at Medinah in 2012, in which he won full points in every match he played, will always be remembered by Europeans.
In 2008 he also secured four out of a possible five points as Team Europe lost at Valhalla, but contributed three points in the 2010’s success at Celtic Manor.