It is fair to say that while some golfers prefer to remain in total control and it is difficult to tell from their reactions whether they have hit a great shot, or a complete shank, Ian Poulter is the polar opposite. The likeable Englishman, now based in Orlando Florida, is one of the most passionate golfers around.
An avid collector of cars, purveyor of many fine (and not so fine!) golfing outfits and one of the finest matchplay players in the modern game, what is it that makes Poulter tick and what is in his bag for 2013?
Read on to find out!
FACTFILE: Ian Poulter
Player Name: Ian James Poulter
Place of Birth: Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England.
Club Sponsor: Cobra
Major Wins (0) : US Masters (0), US Open (0), Open Championship (0), USPGA Championship (0)
Other Tournament Wins : 16
Current World Ranking: 10th
In The Bag with Ian Poulter 2013
Driver: Cobra ZL Encore Driver (below)
Fairway Woods: Cobra AMP CELL Fairway Woods
Hybrids: Cobra AMP CELL Hybrids
Irons: Cobra AMP CELL Pro Irons
Wedges: Titleist Spin Milled Vokey Wedge
Putter: Odyssey White Hot XG #7 Putter
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Although Poulter has enjoyed an excellent career in the game with 16 tournament wins including the 2010 Accenture World Match Play and the 2012 WGC HSBC-Champions tournaments, without doubt his career highs have come in the Ryder Cup.
Simply put, Poulter’s performances in the 2008, 2010 and 2012 competitions in the cauldron of the United States, in the face of fervent home team support are amongst the greatest performances from any golfer in any tournament in living memory.
In 2008 he played in every session for captain Nick Faldo, winning four out of his five points. In 2010, for skipper Colin Montgomerie, he incredibly repeated that feat, winning another four points for the team and in 2012 he set a new benchmark winning all four of his games (he was rested for the first days afternoon fourballs), meaning that in the past three Ryder Cups, Poulter has an incredible 12-2 record.
Poulter’s role in the 2012 Miracle at Medinah victory for Europe cannot be understated; on Saturday, with America looking likely to go in at least 11-5 up into the Sunday fourballs, Poulter rallied to snatch victory with partner Rory McIlroy over American’s Dufner and Zach Johnson. That point was vital and gave Europe the belief they could perform a miracle on Sunday, which Poulter duly played his part in winning his key singles against in form American Webb Simpson.
If you are in any doubt how much this team victory meant to Poulter, this interview moments after Europe’s success will clarify that.
It’s fair to say that since earning a place on the tour full time in 2000, Poulter has enjoyed a successful career. He has consistently won during his time on the tour and has progressed through the rankings to such an extent that there hasn’t really been a low point for the Hitchin born golfer.
Of course, losing the Ryder Cup in 2008, despite a stellar individual performance, will have hurt, but if he does have a low point, it has been that he has been in good positions in several Major tournaments, none more so in 2008 at the British Open when he finished second to Padraig Harrington.
That and a relatively quiet period in his career between 2007 and 2008, when Poulter failed to win a tournament are really the only low points of an otherwise glittering career so far.
What does the future hold for Ian Poulter?
Poulter’s aim now has to be to improve on his position just inside the World’s Top Ten Golfers, a Major win must also be on his list of ambitions and without doubt, securing a place on the Ryder Cup team for the 2014 event at Gleneagles under captain Paul McGinley will be a huge motivational factor.
Poulter once remarked that if he plays to his very best, in his opinion, he reckons that he and Tiger Woods would be the best two players in the world. It will be interesting to see if over the next few years, Poulter can deliver on that lofty statement.
(Pictures courtesy of Ian Poulter’s Facebook Page & Twitter Feed and videos from Youtube)