Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Team Comes First as Poulter Bids to Deliver Once More

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Team Comes First as Poulter Bids to Deliver Once More

Article excerpt

IAN Poulter insists he will sacrifice his brilliant individual record for team success as Europe attempt to regain the Ryder Cup in Paris.

Poulter has become a talismanic figure for Europe since making his debut in the biennial contest 2004, earning the nickname of 'The Postman' because he always delivers a point.

The 42-year-old has won 13 points from 18 matches and famously birdied the last five holes of his fourball match with Rory McIlroy in 2012 to keep European hopes alive and spark the 'Miracle at Medinah'.

However, when asked if he would accept not winning a single point at Le Golf National as long as captain Thomas Bjorn was the man lifting the trophy, Poulter said: "Of course. 100 per cent.

"It's always about the team and however you go about putting that trophy in Thomas' hands, it would be a very proud moment to be part of that team.

"So we win together, we lose together but as long as we win as a team, that's all that really matters." Poulter's record in the contest makes him something of a target for the opposition - but unsurprisingly that is something which does not bother the combative Englishman.

"I take it as a huge compliment, I think, more than anything else," added Poulter, who was restricted to a vice-captaincy role as Europe lost 17-11 at Hazeltine in 2016.

"It's a daunting position to be in to know everyone really wants to take you down but, quite frankly, I want to take them down just as much.

"That's why this week is so special. You can be good friends week-in, week-out but when it comes to the Ryder Cup there's something extra special there and it means so much to want to win and have to win."

Poulter will be the 46 by the time of the next Ryder Cup in Europe and is expected to follow in Bjorn's footsteps as a captain at some point - but he is not prepared to accept that this week will be his last appearance as a player on home soil. …

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