By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
With a 12-3 career record in the Ryder Cup, Ian Poulter would certainly be well qualified to one day captain the European team.
”I’ve got a lot of golf to play before I get to that role,” he said Tuesday on the Scott Van Pelt Show on ESPN Radio. “I would be honored to be asked.”
In the meantime, Poulter is still celebrating a historic comeback by Europe and its 14 1/2-13 1/2 victory on Sunday.
While Europe earned 8 1/2 of a possible 12 points in Sunday’s singles matches, Poulter said the comeback began in earnest on Saturday afternoon when Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald beat Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker and when he and Rory McIlroy birdied each of the last five holes to rally past Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson in the day’s final match.
“There was that glimmer of hope,” Poulter said. “We just had to claw a point in that last match.
“The guys were just pumped. That team room went bananas as I walked in. I knew at that moment … we were 4 points behind, but it’s like we weren’t 4 points behind.”
Poulter led the way for Europe, posting a perfect 4-0 mark for the week. He’s also 4-0 for his career in singles play after beating Webb Simpson, 2 up, on Sunday.
In stroke-play events, however, Poulter hasn’t enjoyed the same success. He’s never won a stroke-play event on the PGA TOUR, and he has just two stroke-play wins in Europe since 2006. In the Ryder Cup, it’s been a different story and Poulter isn’t sure why.
“It’s really hard to quantify,” he said. “I can’t explain it. I haven’t won a major but if you look at that record, those are impressive numbers. I’d like to convert those match play numbers into some sort of stroke-play wins.”
Poulter admitted his concentration sometimes wanes when it comes to stroke play. “The pressure you get in a Ryder Cup is way past what you feel in a stroke-play event,” he said. “That’s it right there. I can play golf when I concentrate.”
He can also celebrate.
Poulter and his teammates drank champagne well into the night following the victory, including during their post-round press conference.
”It was absolutely wild; the drinks were flowing,” Poulter said. “The press conference got a little silly. There was a lot of champagne drunk on that bridge.
“Guys were drained and excited. … To be that excited and to drink half a bottle of champagne, that doesn’t mix very well.”
Fortunately for Europe, Poulter and the Ryder Cup do.