You can always trust Ian Poulter to antagonise the Americans. At Medinah this morning, the English golfer declared how much he wanted “to kill the Americans in the Ryder Cup.”
While American captain Davis Love has talked about making the Ryder Cup “fun”, and steers away from parallels with war and military jargon, as have most Ryder Cup captains since the 1991 ‘War on the shore’ at Kiawah Island, Poulter has jumped in with a choice of word, in the spur of the moment, that will undoubtedly reverberate to the American team room here at Chicago’s famous Medinah Country Club.
“I hate to say that we don’t get on [with the American team] for three days,” started Poulter this morning, “but there is that divide, and it’s not that we don’t like each other. We are all good friends, but there is something about the Ryder Cup, and it intrigues me how you can be great mates with somebody, but, boy, do you want to kill them in the Ryder Cup. It’s great. It’s passion like I’ve never seen before. I love it.
“But on Sunday night, we will all have a beer together and enjoy what hopefully should be a great spectacle.”
On hearing what his teammate had said, Rory McIlroy was more diplomatic. “I think ‘kill’ is a little strong,” said the world number one from Northern Ireland. “I’d like to beat the Americans.”
Poulter, 36, has exuded passion and utter commitment to the European Ryder Cup cause since he made his debut in Bernhard Langer’s victorious team at Oakland Hills in 2004. Having missed out in 2006, Poulter established himself as a stalwart of the European team in 2008 and 2010, and he has compiled an outstanding record of eight points from 11 matches.
At Celtic Manor in 2010, Poulter promised European captain Colin Montgomerie that he would deliver his singles point before playing Matt Kuchar, and after winning 5&4, he earned the nickname the ‘postman’ from his teammates – because he always delivers.
“It is absolutely magnificent to be wearing this jersey with the [European] crest on it,” he said today. “It is always a very proud moment to be part of a great team. I just love this event more that any other in the world.”
Article courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, the official car of the 2012 Ryder Cup