Interviews
Ian Poulter
Interviews

Europe

Ian Poulter - Back where he is happiest

Ian Poulter returns to playing duty for Europe at the Ryder Cup in Paris this week and insists he is aiming to carry on playing in America, Italy and beyond. 

The Englishman made is debut in the 2004 European victory and while he then missed out in 2006, he claimed the most points for either Team in a losing effort at Valhalla in 2008.

He played an important role in 2010 but it was the Miracle at Medinah in 2012 where he entered Ryder Cup folklore, making five birdies in a row on Saturday night to help claim a key point and shift the momentum in Europe's favour.

After being part of a third consecutive winning Team in 2014, he did not play in 2016 - acting as a Vice Captain - and in early 2017 he briefly dropped out of the top 200 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in 17 years.

He has been on the rise ever since, with top tens in two Rolex Series events and at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, and in April he claimed his first win on any Tour in nearly six years at the Houston Open on the US PGA Tour.

After being handed a Captain's Pick by Thomas Bjørn he is now back where he is happiest, playing for Europe, and he has no intention of making this appearance his last one.

"Pretty exciting, I have to say, to be back," he said. "Obviously last time Vice Captain, this time as a player. It's been a great couple of weeks since knowing Thomas had chosen me to play.

"So I'm just kind of rekindling thoughts of all the previous times I've played and I've been pretty excited.

 

 

"I guess when you are at the low of lows, and that wasn't that long ago, there is a little voice in the back of your head that says, 'you might not get back to as good as you was'.

"It was difficult being Vice Captain last time, knowing how much I've helped the team in the past and I wanted to help the team in any way I could, so Vice Captain was a great role. 

"But I felt this time around, I really wanted to make the team. I felt if I work hard, if I refocus properly, restructure things, then I definitely could make this Ryder Cup Team, which I have, so I'm pretty proud.

"I would like to think I've got more in me, I'll say that. I mean, I really do. I think how I've played this year is hopefully the start of me kicking forward again to play in some more. I don't want to think that this is my last hurrah.

"I would like to be part of Team Europe moving forward and I would like to play some more. It's that special to be part of a playing member of a team. But if it is and I can support it in other ways, then that would be great as well."