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Ian Poulter has revealed that he still has his eyes set on making Team Europe’s Ryder Cup team for the competition which begins in September this year.
The 47-year-old joined the controversial LIV Tour last year and it remains to be seen whether golfers who played on the Saudi-backed tour will be eligible to play for Team Europe in the Ryder. However, until that is set in stone, Poulter has aspirations of making the team.
Poulter and the rest of the European players who defected to LIV will find out in February whether they will be able to play in this year’s event in Rome when the full case for LIV Golf players is heard.
The situation is more clear-cut for the American golfers on the LIV Tour. Zach Johnson announced last year that he won’t be able to select any Americans who are no longer part of the PGA of America.
Poulter not expecting any handouts
Poulter is one of the names most synonymous with the Ryder Cup. He has been a regular for Team Europe over the past two decades and often produces his best golf in the competition. He has featured eight times for Europe and is undefeated in singles matches.
It is via the Ryder Cup that Poulter earned his nickname ‘the postman’ because he always delivers the goods when donning European colours. He would be a big miss from the tournament but he hasn’t give up hope.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Poulter said:
“I would love to qualify. Whether I play or not would be a different thing. I haven’t given up on anything – if I win these two weeks, who knows? I certainly don’t expect to get one of the six captain’s picks in any way, shape or form, which is a shame. What does that tell you? What is the story there?”
Luke Donald, the Team Europe captain for the 2023 tournament in Rome, has been coy in the past when questioned about the possibility of using his captain picks to select players on the LIV Tour. Recently, he said that he wouldn’t “get into hypotheticals” when quizzed on the issue.
Bad for morale?
Poulter’s spikey comments come as the war of words between PGA Tour players and LIV Tour players rumbles on. There may well be a line of thinking that bringing players together from both tours would cause issues in the team camp, something you absolutely want to avoid at the Ryder Cup.
Rory Mcilroy, the word’s number one player, has been very local about his disapproval of the Saudi-backed tour for some time and seems unwilling to back down. In October last year, Mcilroy said that he felt “betrayed” by his former teammates, including Poulter, and that he didn’t think they should be eligible for selection.
Poulter himself isn’t one to back down, either. Recently, he made headlines when he called out the Ryder Cup Europe’s Twitter account for not wishing Sergio Garcia a happy birthday. Garcia has also defected to LIV Tour but he has been a key player for Europe in the Ryder Cup over the years.
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