Ian Poulter's guide to the golfing gladiators
22:00 GMT, 27 September 2012
Age: 23 Ryder Cup record: Wins 1; Losses 1; Halves 2
Poulter's verdict: The new phenomenon. Like
everyone else, I knew it the first time I saw him on a golf course and
now he’s living up to all that potential. Looks like he can win when he
Age: 36 Ryder Cup record: Wins 13; Losses 14; Halves 2
Poulter's verdict: Not a great matchplay record
on paper but still the most dangerous opponent. Holes putts at the right
time, and hits a lot more fairways these days. Just tough to play
Illustrations of Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods by Paul Trevillion, commissioned exclusively for Sportsmail
Age: 29 Ryder Cup record: Debut
Poulter’s verdict: Three hundred and
fifty yard drives off the tee. That’s handy in fourballs, isn’t it I’ll
be telling him to just stay loose and go and play, because he’s such an
exciting guy to watch.
Age: 34 Ryder Cup record: Wins 8; Losses 2; Halves 1
Verdict: Played incredible golf the
last two years and is a great man to have by your side. Someone you can
rely on to hit the right shot at the right time.
Age: 32 Ryder Cup record: Wins 14; Losses 6; Halves 4
Verdict: The spirit he plays golf
with is like no other. We’ve seen him hit career shots time and again at
the Ryder Cup and it’s going to be very special for him to play under
Age: 34 Ryder Cup record: Wins 1; Losses 2; Halves 0
Verdict: One of those pros that the
players probably notice more than the public. Deservedly made the side.
Been solid in the majors, and the big events, and makes a hatful of
Age 27 Ryder Cup record: Wins 2; Losses 1; Halves 1
Verdict: How nice to see him show some
form recently. He’s capable of turning it on very quickly and when he
does he’s great to play with. I’ve got a feeling he will surprise some
people and show his class.
Age: 26 Ryder Cup record: Debut
Poulter’s verdict: A major
championship win and a WGC victory, both in the last 15 months. Plays
the game with the sort of intensity I love to see.
Age: 35 Ryder Cup record: Debut
Verdict: One of the most consistent
players in the last 12 months. He has led a quite amazing number of
events. The quietest man on either side.
Age: 42 Ryder Cup record: Wins 8; Losses 15; Halves 4
Verdict: Think of Jim and you think
of the word gutsy. He’s just dogged and when his putting is on he is a
seriously tough guy to play against.
Age: 28 Ryder Cup record: Wins 1; Losses 3; Halves 0
Verdict: A dangerous man. When you’re
up against someone who can hit it so long, it can spell trouble. A very
good man to have in the right format.
Age: 36 Ryder Cup record: Wins 3; Losses 3; Halves 1
Verdict: Always hits the ball with
his draw, never tries anything different, and why should he when it
works so well What I like about Zach’s game is he never beats himself.
Airborne: Ian Poulter leaps into the air after hitting an approach shot to the 16th green during practice
Age: 43 Ryder Cup record: Wins 3; Losses 1; Halves 1
Verdict: He’s some story, isn’t he
He is quite simply a man reborn and all year his stats have been
excellent. Paul is a great man to partner and he is someone I have a
hunch is going to do very well.
Age: 33 Ryder Cup record: Wins 4; Losses 2; Halves 2
Verdict: I love the way his excitement
levels go through the roof at the Ryder Cup and yes, that does remind
me of a certain someone else in the European team!
Age: 30 Ryder Cup record: Wins 0; Losses 2; Halves 1
Verdict: It doesn’t matter if he’s
hitting a driver, a hybrid, a long iron or a short iron. He will hit it
in the middle of the fairway and the middle of the green, and gives you
great options as a partner.
Age: 36 Ryder Cup record:
Wins 8; Losses 3; Halves 0
Verdict: I certainly don’t need to talk about
myself. I do far too much of that already.
Age: 32 Ryder Cup record: Wins 3; Losses 1; Halves 0
Verdict: People think he’s nice and
quiet but take it from me he’s a feisty character when he needs to be.
Upset to miss out last time and I expect to see him fired up and
passionate. He’s going to be great.
Age: 39 Ryder Cup record: Wins 16; Losses 11; Halves 6
Verdict: Lee is the perfect team-mate.
He is as hard as nails when he needs to be and a very good laugh when
he doesn’t need to be. Has seen it all.
Age: 34 Ryder Cup record: Wins 1; Losses 1; Halves 2
Verdict: The American team’s
Molinari. He puts the ball in play time and again and just has a very
solid game. Expect him to play in the two foursomes series.
Age: 40 Ryder Cup record: Wins 11; Losses 17; Halves 6
Verdict: A new putting grip, I see.
As erratic as he can be, you never know when he’s going to chip in or
hole a putt and that gives you an edge at matchplay.
Age: 27 Ryder Cup record: Debut
Verdict: Showed what he is capable of
with his win at the US Open. Another who can really roll his ball with a
putter, as the Americans say.
Age: 31 Ryder Cup record: Debut
Verdict: With apologies to my mate Luke, here is the world’s best putter. His stroke is as pure as it gets.
Age: 45 Ryder Cup record: Wins 3; Losses 3; Halves 1
Verdict: Hits it straight down the middle, has a great wedge game and holes more than his share of putts.
Age: 33 Ryder Cup record: Wins 1; Losses 3; Halves 0
Verdict: Plays footloose and fancy free. You can see why people love to watch him. Makes shedloads of birdies.
Just warming up: Poulter plays off the 17th tee at Medinah Country Club in Chicago