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American Rookies Will Face The Heat at Ryder Cup

By: | Mon 20 Sep 2021

IAN POULTER will be hoping that his words don't come back to haunt him after telling America's six rookies that nothing can possibly prepare them for the intensity of the Ryder Cup.

Half of captain Steve Stricker's side have never played in the biennial contest, but let's not kid ourselves here - Collin Morikawa is a two-time major winner, Xander Schauffele is the Olympic champion and Patrick Cantlay won the FedEx Cup.

Harris English, Daniel Berger and Scottie Scheffler are the other first-timers and Poulter believes all six will be in for a nerve-wracking experience.

"Six is a lot and they're going to find there's a different dynamic there of standing on the first tee at a Ryder Cup," Poulter said. "They're very capable players. They've all won big tournaments but they're going to feel something different, something they've never experienced before.'

Poulter is actually mistaken. Scheffler is still looking for this first PGA Tour win, which makes his selection something of a surprise.

"All 12 of their team are in the top 21 in the world and they have eight of the world's top 10," said Poulter. "They have a strong team on paper but it's match play and any player on his day can beat any player. And that's all we need to do.

"Match play gives up some of the most incredible results that we've seen and we will see it again in a week's time. You always see shock results. This will be no different."


Europe have three rookies in former Open champion Shane Lowry, Viktor Hovland and Bernd Wiesberger, with Lowry, Poulter and Sergio Garcia given wild cards by captain Padraig Harrington.

It is the fifth time in seven appearances that Poulter has failed to qualify automatically, but 'The Postman' insists he has nothing to prove.

"I feel relaxed about the way I have played," said the 45-year-old, who is unbeaten in Ryder Cup singles matches with five wins and one halved match.

"I felt extremely comfortable getting a call and I didn't feel that I shouldn't be there in that position. I would love to have squeezed onto the team. Could I have played an extra event here or there? Possibly.

"But I am 45 and I need to stay as fresh as I can so there's a fine balance. I feel that I've played good golf and it's nice to be in that position."

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Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography

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Tags: ryder cup PGA Tour european tour

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