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Ian Poulter chooses to rely on Ryder Cup wild card

Ian Poulter has pulled out of this week’s Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, the last points-counting event for next month’s Ryder Cup.

“I have called (captain) Nick Faldo and told him of my decision and hope my performance so far this year will earn one of his two wildcard picks,” Poulter said in a statement issued by the European Tour on Monday.

The 32-year-old Englishman, runner-up to Ireland’s Padraig Harrington in the British Open at Royal Birkdale in July, is outside the automatic top-10 places in the Ryder Cup points standings.

Poulter missed the cut in the opening event of the U.S. PGA Tour’s FedExCup playoffs last week and needs to compete in the second tournament of the series in Boston this week to have any chance of qualifying for the final two events, the BMW Championship and The Tour Championship.

“It has been an extremely difficult decision to take given my burning desire to represent Europe again in defending the Ryder Cup,” said Poulter.

“But the fact Boston is my only opportunity to qualify for the final two playoff events, as well as being my final opportunity to play my 15 events on the U.S. PGA Tour, conflicts with my ambition to play Gleneagles and earn my spot in the team.”

Poulter, who made his only previous Ryder Cup appearance in 2004, is likely to have to compete with the likes of Darren Clarke, Paul Casey and Colin Montgomerie for Faldo’s two wildcard picks.

Clarke won the Dutch Open on Sunday, the same day as fellow Briton Casey finished joint seventh in the FedExCup’s Barclays Classic.

Montgomerie has suffered a slump in form this season but cannot be ruled out of contention, having been a Ryder Cup talisman for Europe in the last eight editions of the biennial team event.

“The captain’s picks are a nightmare and not a position I would have wanted,” added Poulter.

“But we know Nick will do the right thing and I will be playing as hard as I can this week to … hopefully earn one.”

Europe bid to win the Ryder Cup for the fourth time in a row when they take on United States at Valhalla, Kentucky from Sept. 19-21.


August 26, 2008

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