Ry­der Cup vet­eran hopes to play in­spi­ra­tional role for Team Europe

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Ian Poul­ter has been ap­pointed as a vice-cap­tain for the Ry­der Cup at Hazel­tine af­ter a foot in­jury ended his chances of qual­i­fy­ing for the team.

Euro­pean cap­tain Dar­ren Clarke named Thomas Bjorn, Paul Lawrie and Padraig Har­ring­ton as vice-cap­tains last week and has now added Poul­ter to his back­room team.

The 40-year-old was of­ten Europe’s tal­is­man in the com­pe­ti­tion and was the chief ar­chi­tect of the thrilling come­back vic­tory at Me­d­i­nah in 2012. He has played in five Ry­der Cups and has been on the win­ning side on four oc­ca­sions, com­pil­ing an im­pres­sive overall record of 12 wins, four losses and two halves. “Ev­ery­one who knows me knows how much the Ry­der Cup means, hav­ing given me mem­o­ries to savour over the past 12 years and cre­ated friend­ships that will last a life­time,” Poul­ter, who is ex­pected to be out for four months, said in a state­ment. “There­fore when it be­came clear, given my cur­rent foot con­di­tion, that I would not be in a po­si­tion to try and qual­ify for the team for a sixth time this year or in­deed be able to jus­tify a wild-card pick, I was truly hon­oured and de­lighted to be asked by Dar­ren to be a vice-cap­tain.

“The best mo­ments of my ca­reer have come when I have been wear­ing the blue and gold crest of Europe on my chest, know­ing at the same time that the con­test means so much to ev­ery Euro­pean player and to ev­ery Euro­pean fan, ei­ther in the crowd or watch­ing back home on tele­vi­sion.

“Dar­ren shares that same pas­sion and he knows I will be there to as­sist him and the 12 play­ers who will line up at Hazel­tine in any way I can.

“We have a tremen­dous record in re­cent times, hav­ing played with pas­sion, de­sire and com­mit­ment. It is some­thing we should be proud of and, rest as­sured, I will do ev­ery­thing in my power to help Europe’s quest to re­tain the tro­phy.”

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