Ryder Cup 2014: Ian Poulter vows to bounce back

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Ian Poulter is determined to bounce back from a disappointing performance during the opening morning of the Ryder Cup.

Poulter was assigned to guide debutant Stephen Gallacher through his first taste of the competition but were consigned to a heavy 5 & 4 loss by American rookies Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed.

Poulter had the best win rate during previous Ryder Cups out of the 24 players competing this year and this defeat represented his biggest during his five appearances. The Englishman was Europe's top scorer and led the miraculous comeback at Medinah two years ago but never managed to rekindle the magic at Gleneagles.

Disappointing morning

Both he and Gallacher were given the afternoon off as Poulter was able to reflect on the morning's disappointment.

"Obviously my record has been pretty good so taking a dent this morning I can shrug that off and look forward to Saturday," Poulter said.

"Obviously it's a loss on the board, whether that be 5 & 4 or one down, but I don't look at it as a heavy loss, I just look at it as a loss. Ryder Cup is very black or white. It's very simple: You lose or you win."

Plenty more golf

Poulter has played enough Ryder Cups to acknowledge that there is plenty more golf to be made between now and Sunday evening and the Ryder Cup will not be decided by just one match.

"I said to Stevie walking off the golf course when I played with Darren Clarke in 2004 we had our butts kicked the first time I ever played (losing 4 & 3 to Tiger Woods and Chris Riley) and obviously we've had that today. But you know what, things can change very quickly.

"This is a team game and they have to beat 12 of us. It's not just about singling one or two guys out. This is about us digging in when we need to and that's exactly what we need to do as a team."


On a personal point of view, Poulter was disappointed with his performance on the greens but was understanding when he was left out of action this afternoon.

"Me personally, I need to hole a few more putts and that's what I didn't do. I left a few putts short, which is very frustrating, but this is a strong team and a team that you'll see fight very hard right till the end.

"I knew I wasn't playing five coming in this week, and I probably didn't want to play five coming into this week. Not many people have been able to play five and win five and the reason for that is because it's very tiring.

"I'm 38; we've got some younger pups on the team that might be able to do it better than I can. If my role is to play twice or three or four or five times then I will go out there and do whatever I'm asked to do."

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Tom Watson's decision to partner debutants Reed and Spieth looked a masterstroke as they cruised to a comfortable victory. Spieth enjoyed the battle and hopes he will be partnered with Reed again tomorrow.

"Hopefully we get out Saturday morning with the same idea. I mean, we've got all the confidence in the world," he added.

"Most of our birdies were on different holes but, at the same time, on holes where we made birdie the other was in good position any way.

"We just hit a lot of greens together: one putt may miss, the other may go in but when you get a lot of looks from 20 feet and in, especially with a guy who putts as well as Patrick does, we're going to end up filling it up."


Spieth also admitted that he was fortunate to play against Ryder Cup hero Poulter and revealed that many of his team mates would have liked that honour.

"There are a few guys on our team that specifically would like to match up against Ian. There are a few guys that came up and told us that they are very jealous that we had them today.

"But whatever it is, past history or just the fact that he's known as being kind of the Ryder Cup wizard for the Europeans, he's certainly not under our skin because we haven't dealt with him before."

Ian Poulter
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