I’ll go out on a limb here and say Nick Faldo’s decision to pick Ian Poulter instead of Darren Clarke for Europe’s Ryder Cup team was a pretty stupid one.
Ian Poulter played a classic poker game, refusing to play in the final qualifying championship in Europe, instead opting for America. In other words, he felt as though he’d done enough.
Darren Clarke was in a seriously good run of form, winning the BMW Asian Open in August. His Ryder Cup record last year (he got three points and three wins from as many matches in 2006’s destruction of the US team) stands for itself. If it’s emotion you want, then it’s emotion you get, and Faldo said he liked that in Poulter.
You can’t really argue about the selection of Paul Casey. He’s used to American crowds and their gung-ho attitude. He’s also in strong form, having garnered four Top 10 finishes in last 10 holes. He’s also won a World Matchplay Championship, and he’s pretty darned good on a Par 3 course, too.
But I’m still trying to live with the Poulter decision.
Poulter has his matching golfing outfits, while Clarke has his cigars. Poulter has a fired-up attitude, while Clarke realises that it's all a game, and life's not more important than that.
Poulter thinks he's the only man who can compete with Tiger Woods. Clarke has beaten all comers in Ryder Cups. Poulter might think he's a winner, while Clarke's record of 10-7-3 record speaks for itself. Poulter's? 1-1.
I know which one I'd rather take, particularly in front of a loud, rude crowd that will make the atmosphere more Kentucky Derby than Kentucky Golf.