No need for panic in Euro­pean camp

Poul­ter says rook­ies will get stronger

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

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.”

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