No need for panic in European camp
Poulter says rookies will get stronger
Ian Poulter insists that Europe do not need to make sweeping changes in order to win back the Ryder Cup in 2018 in France.
Europe suffered their biggest defeat since 1981 when they were beaten 17-11 by a rampant America at Hazeltine last weekend.
In the aftermath of the defeat much of the focus on the losing team was the decision of captain Darren Clarke to select Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer. Both struggled in Minnesota, with Westwood failing to return a single point.
But Poulter believes their selection was justified and does not believe that Europe need a knee-jerk reaction because of the result in Hazeltine.
“I know what’s going to happen; Lee is going to come under fire and Darren is going to be criticised for picking Lee but that’s unfair. You cannot expect to take seven or eight rookies, it’s just not possible,” said Poulter, who was a vice-captain in the States.
“Unfortunately Lee missed some putts and he might not have played his best golf. Because of that it’s going to be tough for Darren. But the template doesn’t need to change. Poulter also believes the European players who were rookies in Hazeltine will only come back stronger in France. Rafa Cabrera-Bello [left] and Thomas Pieters particularly impressed, but it was a tough competition for Danny Willett, Chris Wood and Matt Fitzpatrick. “We probably have a transitional team with a lot of young blood.” added Poulter. “If you look at where the young blood is going to be in two years from now you would expect them to be stronger. “I don’t believe there needs to be a new template. The template is there. The overall score was 17-11 but I think it was a little closer than that.” Poulter, a five-time Ryder Cup player also hopes to regain his spot on the European team for Paris in two years’ time. “I’m itching to play Ryder Cup again. I will see you in France in two years’ time, I promise,” he said. “I can’t wait to get back. This has been a tough week, being on the sidelines watching. It sparks even more fire for me to come back stronger.”