Ian Poulter, never one to mince words or clothing choices, has become the new bad boy of the European Ryder Cup team. He takes this honor away from Sergio Garcia. Garcia gives it up not because he's turned sweet and loving, but because his game has gone so far south that he can no longer make Ryder Cup teams as a player.
He is now the designated Euro cheerleader. Just need to get him some pom poms and he'll be set for 2012.
Poulter, golf's Tweeting maniac, was bold with his messages before and during the Ryder Cup. Promising victory; promising he'd win every match; promising just about anything he could think of.
After winning four of five matches in Valhalla two years ago at the '08 Ryder Cup as a surprise captain's pick (picked by Nick Faldo over Colin Montgomerie, the 2010 captain), Poulter continued that dominant play in 2010. He was four for four in victories, finishing up his competition with a thrashing of probably the top U.S. player right now, Matt Kuchar.
Going into this match, I said it was going to be a pivotal one. If Poulter could upset Kuchar (for it was an upset), I doubted the Americans' ability to pull this thing off, even though I knew ground would be made by Team U.S.A. in the singles.
Sure enough, Poulter's dominating win over probably the Player of the Year winner on the PGA Tour was huge. The U.S. ended up a half-point shy of retaining the cup.
Poulter, fists pumping, bulging, crazy eyes, and drop dead glares all weekend long, is the new player the American fans will love to hate.
Of course, you can only hate someone when they're good. Even better if they are great. Garcia doesn't fit that bill anymore. But Poulter fits it perfectly. In fact, you'd swear it was made for him.
Payback, for the Americans, will have to wait two long years.