Tour Report: Poulter: Stroke-play, emotion don’t mix

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Ehmann/Getty ImagesIan Poulter was the emotional leader of the European Ryder Cup team.

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

He was undoubtedly in the zone. But Ian Poulter had a much simpler way to describe the five straight birdies he made on Saturday at the Ryder Cup that most people point to as the turning point in Europe’s victory.

"It was a good five birdies is what it was," Poulter said in understatement during a press conference in advance of the Franklin Templeton Shootout..

The surge enabled Poulter and Rory McIlroy to beat Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner, helping turn what appeared to be a U.S. rout in the Four-ball session into a 2-2 split. The momentum gained by the Brit’s brilliant burst fueled Sunday’s historic rally as Europe overcame a 4-0 deficit to win the Cup.

Some people wonder why Poulter, who won the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions earlier this year, doesn’t bring the same kind of emotion with him every time he tees it up on the PGA TOUR. 

"You can’t do it," Poulter said. "I’m not going to stand on the first hole having my eye bulging out, fist-pumping going crazy, because they’re going to go, ‘What is this idiot doing?’ In Ryder Cup you’re going to do it.
"You can’t do that on the first hole of a 72-hole stroke-play event.  Doesn’t happen, but it happened in Ryder Cup.  It just does. It’s the only event in the world that is ever going to create that drama, that intensity, that pressure. But it’s right. It’s fitting.  Stroke play is just not going to be there.
"Trust me, I’ve tried."