MEDINAH, ILL. (AP) - Ian Poulter relishes the challenge of the Ryder Cup more than any golf tournament, including the major championships. And he left little doubt Wednesday how badly he wants to win.
"We are all good friends, both sides of the pond," Poulter said. "But there's something about Ryder Cup which kind of intrigues me, how you can be great mates with somebody. But, boy, do you want to kill them in Ryder Cup. It's great. I mean, it's passion like I've never seen before. I love it. I love that chance to be able to go out there and beat one of your mates."
This is the fourth Ryder Cup for Poulter, who has an 8-3-0 record. Two of those losses were to Tiger Woods.
Poulter dismisses the idea that Rory McIlroy is a marked man at Medinah because he is No. 1 in the world and a two-time major champion. The Englishman believes all 12 players on the European team have a bulls-eye on the back of their uniforms.
The difference is Poulter is only too happy to show off the target. The louder it gets, the more he enjoys it.
So when it was suggested that European captain Jose Maria Olazabal might ask his players to tone down their celebrations to keep the American crowd from getting riled up, Poulter's eyes bugged out.
"Are you kidding me? No. For real? It's Ryder Cup. Hell, no," Poulter said. "I've always got a bulls-eye on my back. That's fine. I've won seven of my last eight points. But we're all marked men. They want to beat us really badly. But you know what? We want to beat them just as badly."
Poulter is among the more brash players in this genteel sport, and the Ryder Cup takes that to another level.
Two years ago in Wales, he was on the practice range getting ready for his singles match with Matt Kuchar when he said in a Sky Sports interview, "I WILL deliver my point." He went on to beat Kuchar in the most lopsided match of the final day.
His teammates call him "The Postman" for delivering the point, as promised, but it doesn't sound as though the postman will ring twice.
"I'm not going down that road again," Poulter said. "I've done that once and it caused a lot of drama. We'll leave the drama to the course."
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