Friday 20 April 2018

Poulter slump 'a concern' for skipper McGinley

European captain Paul McGinley and Ian Poulter
European captain Paul McGinley and Ian Poulter

Phil Casey

EUROPEAN captain Paul McGinley admits he is concerned about the loss of form which has seen Ryder Cup talisman Ian Poulter drop out of the automatic qualifying places for Gleneagles.

Poulter, who inspired the 'Miracle at Medinah' in 2012 and finished with a 100pc record in Chicago, looked almost certain to make the team when he finished second, fifth and second in the final three events of last season.

But the 38-year-old Englishman has registered just one top-five finish in 2014 and Martin Kaymer's victory in the Players Championship a fortnight ago knocked him out of the qualifying places.

"I'm aware of how Poults is doing," McGinley said. "He made a lot of points early in the campaign but is not in the team at the moment as he has just been pushed out.

"But he's in that second tier and one more good week and he's right back in it again. I'm a little bit concerned what's happening right now, but not worried.

"I spoke to him for a good 45 minutes on the phone last week and we had a really good chat. He's determined to be there but he has to earn his place. I've said it before and I told him last week, he has to earn his place. He knows that."

Asked if he would still select Poulter if he was off form at the end of August, McGinley added: "It depends on what you term by form. He knows he needs to step on the gas over the summer.

"But he's making cuts and he's finishing decent, he's not way off form, not miles away.

"He hasn't really had a run of tournaments, but starting now he has this run of tournaments over the summer. He's really up for it."

Press Association

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