Poulter renews Ryder Cup claims

Inspired by watching a short video of highlights from his victory at the Wales Open last year, Ian Poulter ensured there was no repeat of his experience at the BMW International three years ago. Then, on the last occasion the Ryder Cup team was finalised, Poulter missed the cut and watched from home as he finished 11th in the standings.

Inspired by watching a short video of highlights from his victory at the Wales Open last year, Ian Poulter ensured there was no repeat of his experience at the BMW International three years ago. Then, on the last occasion the Ryder Cup team was finalised, Poulter missed the cut and watched from home as he finished 11th in the standings.

Currently ninth in the table, the sartorially flamboyant Englishman was in danger of not qualifying after an opening 73 but yesterday produced a determined 66. It has not secured his place in the team, but meant his rivals will have to play even better over what should be an exciting weekend.

"It's crunch time, but I was more relaxed today and I enjoyed the challenge," Poulter said. "It was a difficult day knowing there were only three rounds left to prove yourself. It was four and a half hours of concentration, but I learnt from three years ago that you need patience. I don't take the video with me every week, perhaps I should, but it is always good to see yourself hitting good shots, making putts and chipping in."

Poulter was five behind the halfway leader, his playing partner Miguel Angel Jimenez. The Spaniard is already in the team and celebrated by buying one of the sponsor's latest sports cars yesterday morning.

Jimenez, at 10 under par, led by one from David Lynn and Retief Goosen with Fredrik Jacobson one stroke further back. With a brilliant 65, Jacobson, who needs to be at least fifth to have a chance of making the team, put the pressure on both those ahead of him on the standings and on the captain, Bernhard Langer, who can only pick two players as wild cards.

Jacobson is the fourth highest European on the world rankings after spending much of the season in the US. Joakim Haeggman, at five under, and Raphael Jacquelin, at four under, could still threaten. But Graeme McDowell, who needs to win, only just made the cut while Brian Davis and Jean-Francois Remesy failed to qualify.

The task of the chasing pack was not been made easier by those holding qualifying positions. Paul Casey, who is all but in the team, was at six under with 10th placed-man Paul McGinley. Poulter was at five under and David Howell at three under.

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