For starters, the Englishman is passionate about this event – occasionally rankling Americans fans with his exuberant displays of emotion – and as he said Wednesday at Medinah, “I just love this event more than any other in the world. I get very excited to play. I get very proud to put this shirt on and have that crest on my chest. I want to give it my all.”
Normally, that hasn’t been an issue when it comes to these biennial matches. Since his debut in 2004, Poulter has amassed an overall record of 8-3, including a perfect 3-0 in the singles.
It’s not unreasonable to suggest that Poulter prefers playing a road game (like in 2004 and ’08). In fact, he seems to thrive when employing the us-against-the-world mentality. This Ryder Cup could be particularly rowdy, given Medinah’s proximity to Chicago, and to Poulter, there is something wonderful about that kind of hostile environment.
“It’s going to be intimidating,” he said, “but it’s going to be brilliant. I couldn’t or wouldn’t want to be in any other situation this week. It fills you full of pride and passion to go out there.”
This run-up to the Ryder Cup has been particularly mild-mannered, perhaps because so many European players now live here in the U.S. Poulter was asked if the Ryder Cup could ever lose its edge.
“It means too much to us for it ever to lose that edge,” he said. “We are all good friends, both sides of the pond. But there’s something about the Ryder Cup that kind of intrigues me – how you can be great mates with somebody, but boy, do you want to kill them in Ryder Cup.”