GLENEAGLES, Scotland – Ian Poulter finally flipped into “postman” mode late in Saturday’s morning fourball matches, but his rally came too late to change European captain Paul McGinley’s mind about his afternoon foursome pairings.
Poulter was benched for the second time this Ryder Cup.
“There is no ego on this team,” Poulter said when asked how he felt about sitting again. “There are 12 great players who all want to play, and you have to respect the captain’s decision.”
Teamed in fourballs with world No. 1 Rory McIlroy, Poulter caught fire late, chipping in at the 15th hole and then rolling in a 12-foot birdie at the 16th to square the match with Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker. Poulter’s efforts helped the Euros salvage a critical half point in the final match of the morning session, preventing the Americans from tying the matches and giving Europe a 6½ to 5½ advantage going into the afternoon.
McGinley delivered his foursome pairings before Poulter caught fire.
Poulter earned his nickname “The Postman” at the 2010 Ryder Cup, when he guaranteed delivering a point in his singles match at Celtic Manor, which he did.
“Late delivery,” Poulter said of his effort Saturday at Gleneagles.
With sluggish form much of this year, Poulter got off to a sluggish start Friday that saw his seven-match Ryder Cup winning streak end. Teamed with Stephen Gallacher in the opening fourballs, Poulter didn’t make a birdie or win a hole. He was benched Friday afternoon. With McIlroy, Poulter was wayward for much of the round before catching fire and making birdies at three of the last four holes.
“Obviously, I haven't played my best golf,” Poulter said. “You just have to get something going. You have to stay positive. You have to keep telling yourself the good stuff's coming. But it took quite a while.”
Poulter was asked if he used some psychology on himself.
“I don't use a psychologist,” Poulter said. “I don't need a psychologist. I understand what it takes to get me going. I've got a big heart, and I love this Ryder Cup.”
Will he guarantee the postman will deliver another point when he tees it up next in Sunday singles?
“I’m not telling you,” Poulter said.