I have known DP World Ambassador Ian Poulter since he first came out onto the European Tour, having progressed through the Qualifying School and winning the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year in 2000 and I have coached him for the last six years.
We all knew that Padraig Harrington would surely pick the ‘Postman’ if he did not qualify automatically for Team Europe. Poulter has never let a captain down and has, more often than not, ‘always delivered.’
I know him better than most and have seen him up and down over the years as well as at The Ryder Cup, both off and on the golf course.
Poulter, now 45 years old, is currently number 49 in the OWGR and 31st in the 2021 Race to Dubai and has the following career record:
- Career high of Number 5 in OWGR,
- Six Ryder Cup playing appearances (2004, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2018) and one as a Vice-Captain (2016),
- Five times on a Ryder Cup winning side (all except 2008),
Ryder Cup record
14 wins, 6 losses and 2 halves.
- Two World Golf Championship wins (2010 and 2012),
- Three PGA Tour wins
12 European Tour wins
One victory on the Japan Golf Tour.
One victory on the Asian Tour.
One victory on the PGA Tour of Australasia.
One victory on the European Challenge Tour.
Poulter is such a different animal during Ryder Cup weeks.
In 2008, as a Captain’s pick he won all four of his matches.
I recall in 2010 he told the world he would win his singles match against Matt Kuchar and he did just that with a 5-4 victory. His career highlight in The Ryder Cup is probably at Medinah Country Club in 2012.
Playing in the Saturday afternoon fourball matches with Rory McIlroy against Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson, he produced a brilliant run of five consecutive birdies over the last five holes to win the match 1 up and give Team Europe essential Ryder Cup momentum and the confidence of just being 10-6 down, that they could win the next day in the singles matches, which they did.
In 2018, Poulter beat world No.1 Dustin Johnson in the singles.
I believe Poulter is more of a leader on the golf course than off, but at the right time and the right place off the golf course, especially in the Team Room he certainly has the respect of all the team and makes a difference. They all listen to him, the captain, vice-captains and all his teammates.
He is a natural competitor at everything he does in life and his passion for The Ryder Cup and the famous images of him punching his chest and those bulging eyes are very special.
The talk of team selection, picks is now all over.
We wish Ian Poulter a successful seventh Ryder Cup in just a few days’ time.
The 2021 Ryder Cup will be held from Friday (24th) – Sunday (26th) September, 2021 at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, USA.
- Peter Cowen is the world’s No. 1 golf coach and has academies in the UAE and England. @petecowengolf