Ian Poulter advises US rookies that nothing will prepare them for the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits

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Ryder Cup
Source: Skysports

Nothing will prepare America’s rookies for the intensity of the Ryder Cup, according to Ian Poulter.

Despite the fact that Collin Morikawa is a two-time major winner, Xander Schauffele is the Olympic champion, and Patrick Cantlay won the FedEx Cup, half of captain Steve Stricker’s team has never competed in the biennial event.

The other debutants at Whistling Straits are Harris English, Daniel Berger, and Scottie Scheffler, and Poulter feels all six will have a nerve-wracking experience.

“Six is a lot, and they’re going to find that standing on the first tee at a Ryder Cup has a different vibe,” Poulter said.

“They’re excellent players.” They’ve all won a major event, and they’re not going to be terribly intimidated, but they’ll feel something different, something they’ve never felt before.

“Does that help them against a team with greater experience than ours?” Isn’t it true that we don’t know? At the moment, we can only make educated guesses.

“Their entire team is ranked in the top 21 in the world, and they have eight of the top ten players in the globe.” On paper, they have a good team, but it’s match play, and any player can beat any player on any given day. That’s all there is to it.

“They’re excellent players.” They’ve all won a major event, and they’re not going to be terribly intimidated, but they’ll feel something different, something they’ve never felt before.

“Does that help them against a team with greater experience than ours?” Isn’t it true that we don’t know? At the moment, we can only make educated guesses.

“Their entire team is ranked in the top 21 in the world, and they have eight of the top ten players in the globe.” On paper, they have a good team, but it’s match play, and any player can beat any player on any given day. That’s all there is to it.

“Matchplay has produced some of the most spectacular outcomes we’ve ever seen, and we’ll see it again in a week. You always witness shocking outcomes. This will be no exception.”

Former Open champion Shane Lowry, Viktor Hovland, and Bernd Wiesberger are the three rookies in Europe’s lineup, with captain Padraig Harrington handing out wild cards to Lowry, Poulter, and Sergio Garcia.

Poulter has failed to qualify automatically for the seventh time in seven outings, but the man known as ‘The Postman’ because he always delivers a point is under no added pressure to succeed.

“I feel relaxed and maybe less pressure than if I hadn’t played the way I have,” said the 45-year-old, who has five wins and one halved match in Ryder Cup singles matches.

“But, at 45, I need to stay as young as possible, so it’s a delicate balance. I believe I’ve played well, and it feels fantastic to be in that situation.”

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