MEDINAH, Illinois (Reuters) - Ian Poulter roared, clenched his fists and then glared like a boxer trying to strike fear in an opponent after sinking a putt to halve a hole on Friday in the Ryder Cup.
It was one big moment in a round full of them for Poulter, but after he teamed up with fellow Englishman Justin Rose to beat Americans Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker 2&1, the Briton said it illustrated what he loves most about the Ryder Cup.
”That’s me being me, I guess,“ Poulter told reporters. ”Ryder Cup is like no other. You can’t do that in any other situation. It means that much. That really is how much it means.
“I’ve seen it over the years with Seve (Ballesteros) and Ollie (Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal) and (Nick) Faldo and all the guys. That’s why Ryder Cup is so special, because you can hole that putt at the right time and it does mean that much, so your emotions just come out.”
Poulter’s par-saving putt of about 15 feet at the 16th hole allowed the European tandem to clinch their foursomes match at 17 on a cool, breezy day at Medinah Country Club.
It also brought the Briton some revenge against Woods.
Poulter had enjoyed great success in the Cup competition, with an 8-3-0 record. Two of those losses came against U.S. duos that included Woods, who was erratic off the tee on Friday.
“Tiger has had two of my three defeats and I never wanted to have another one,” said Poulter.
Poulter, who sank other long putts and holed out from a bunker as again the Ryder Cup brought out his best, said circumstances built to his passionate display at the 16th.
”To hole that putt on 16 at the right time,“ he explained. ”I hit a poor second shot, Tiger hit a great second shot and gave Stricker a chance to win that hole to get it to one‑down with two to play, which would have been key for them.
“(Stricker) misses that hole. That’s the wonders of match play. Whether sometimes it’s to halve the hole or to win the hole, putts of that length just mean so much.”