Ryder Cup: All my life I've been told I'd never be anything reveals Ian Poulter



The tributes poured in for Ian Poulter. The one that meant the most to him shall forever remain secret. It was delivered by his Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal in an emotional embrace by the 18th green. Olazabal had suggested a statue be erected in tribute to Poulter at the home of the European Tour after yet another eye-popping contribution late on Saturday afternoon, which made Sunday's incredible turnaround possible.

Then Poulter delivered a fourth point on the final day, the highest individual contribution on either side, to reinforce a legend that grows ever greater in the Ryder Cup setting. His face dominated newspaper coverage in America yesterday, further recognition of his defining presence in the European team. He is Europe.

In the euphoria of victory he said he would not trade this success at Medinah for any number of majors. "This is special. You don't get to experience this kind of elation or emotion in regular golf. I love it. It brings out the best in me. Would I want to win a major? Of course I would. Would I swap this win in the Ryder Cup, coming back like we did? No way. This is as good as it gets."

The sense of camaraderie built through shared endeavour clearly touched him but one moment carried significantly greater meaning. "I take away so many special memories from this. But what Jose Maria said to me at the end will stay with me forever. That meant everything to me.

"I can't share it with you, sorry. That remains between us. He is a special person and a great captain. You know what, my captain picked me to come and play. I owe it to him, and Seve [Ballesteros], to be here today."

Poulter accounted for the enraged engagement he brings to the contest in terms of a career-long defiance to prove people wrong, including the scouting staff at Tottenham Hotspur, where he passed through two trials as a schoolboy centre-back without making the grade.

"All my life I've been told I'd never amount to anything. That was always the message from my teachers at school. I wanted to be a footballer, but that didn't work out either. As an Arsenal fan I guess that's a good thing. But, yeah, I just love proving people wrong. It gives me the motivation to succeed."

Of all the voices frothing over Poulter's contribution vice-captain Paul McGinley put it best. "We won that Ryder Cup from [the effort by] Ian Poulter. We were hanging on by our fingernails and Poulter just kept us in touch. It was quite incredible. He's great. He just loves it. He's built this image of himself, of what he is, and he plays to it.

"He's like an actor getting into character. He puts on a costume and turns into this guy. And this guy he creates is awesome in Ryder Cups. He never misses putts and does it when it counts. That's the personality he adopts and it's great."

Mr Europe: Poulter's record


Foursomes 5 4 1 0

Fourballs 6 4 2 0

Singles 4 4 0 0

Total 15 12 3 0

Has been on the winning side in three of his four Ryder Cups

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot