Poulter desperate to be a shoo-in for Ryder Cup - Golf - Sport - The Independent

Poulter desperate to be a shoo-in for Ryder Cup

The last time Ian Poulter was at Oakland Hills he threw his shoes at someone, which does not sound completely out of character until one attempts to comprehend the esteem in which he holds his footwear. Perhaps only Imelda could ever understand.

Poulter confesses to having "hundreds and hundreds and hundreds in my wardrobe" and when he went to Grosvenor Square the other week to have his US visa renewed, "I just happened to find enough time to pop in to Harvey Nicks to buy five more pairs of Dior". So what made him hurl his pride and Footjoy at one lucky supporter in 2004? The Ryder Cup. And to Poulter that is as precious as any piece of Italian leather covering his tootsies. Well, almost.

Nick Faldo would certainly testify to how obsessed Poulter is about making his team for next month's biennial dust-up in Kentucky. Within a few hours of finishing second to Padraig Harrington at the Open two weeks ago, Poulter sent a, "Did you see that?", type of text to the Europe captain and received a call straight back. Faldo congratulated him on earning England's highest Open placing since he, himself, had come second in 1993 and told him that now was the time to crack on. That was all Poulter needed to hear. Faldo wants him on the team but cannot guarantee him a wild card and come the qualification deadline definitely does not want Poulter back on the blower.

"I've five weeks left to make the side automatically and that's what I'll be all out to do," he said last week. "I don't want to rely on a pick. Nick is going to have enough pressure as it is when it comes to his two choices without me telephoning in before the pick. I am looking forward to these next two weeks to make a big push."

Last night in Akron he was in full grunt mode as he tried to build on his encouraging start to the WGC Bridgestone Invitational. While there were some big figures in his sights – Vijay Singh and Phil Mickelson were giving the event some lustre in the absence of Tiger Woods – it was a frame rather closer to home with the most alluring target on his back.

Poulter is £27,500 behind his best friend, Justin Rose, on the Ryder Cup standings and the plan is to earn enough in Ohio to do that piece of leapfrogging and then to cement his berth at the US PGA Championship which begins in Detroit on Thursday. A shoe or two more may be sacrificed in the name of celebration on his return to Oakland Hills if that particular mission succeeds. "You know, that week in 2004 was one of the most memorable I've ever had, certainly on a golf course, and it will be nice to go back to a layout I know, that I've played well on and, of course, that I have so many good memories about," he said. "That was one hell of an experience and I will be drawing off those positive vibes."

That should be a chilling thought for any of his rivals on the fairways or indeed on that points list as Poulter is very much a "confidence player" to whom the pounding of his heart is as vital as the rhythm in his putting stroke. Before venturing out at Firestone yesterday he almost fell over laughing when asked if he was suffering any hangover after his heroics on the Southport links. "No way am I flat – I'm buzzing," said the 32-year-old. "I found it a really long week after the Open, just itching to get back after finishing so well at Birkdale. I'm still charging."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones