Jan 2nd, 2017
Poulter plans to put 2016 behind him
And make the 2018 Ryder Cup team.....
Words: James Greenwood Photography: Getty Images
Poults is knocking on the door of 41, and has had a tough old time of it for the past 18 months. But he has positive plans for 2017 and beyond.
Injuries have plagued Poults for the past 18 months. He was completely sidelined for five months with an arthritic toe, and as a result he has plummeted down the world rankings to 184th. He also missed the Ryder Cup as a player for the first time since 2006, although he did have a role as a vice captain.
As he starts his 2017 campaign he has no automatic access to the four majors, and his position on the PGA Tour is also under threat unless he pulls out a decent finish in one of his next six starts.
Poulter is now looking to show he is back on track in Abu Dhabi later in January, before he then heads back to America.
In the short-term, Poulter told the Daily Mail: "To be honest, my overwhelming focus is simply on getting out there and enjoying it, rather than worrying about my status. The hunger's still there. In fact, I'm probably more hungry now to show that I can still play and get back up the rankings. I do think my good shots now are better than they have ever been but I’m eager to prove that’s the case, rather than talk about it."
‘It has been a very challenging time, there’s no getting away from it,’ he said. ‘My toe got so painful in the early part of last year I was walking on the side of my foot at one tournament, and you can’t play golf like that, so I had to take the time off.
‘Away from the course we’ve had issues with our house in the UK that I won’t elaborate on, we’ve had my mum’s aneurysm, so even when I was playing, it was a bit more complicated than simply not playing well. Now thankfully, we’ve reached the point where my foot is fine and we’re nearly sorted off the course as well, so hopefully I can clear the rubbish out of my brain and start playing well again.’
Poulter recently received a Special Recognition award from the PGA, and at the presentation speech he stated: ‘I will win again in 2017, I will be in the next Ryder Cup team in 2018, and we will win the trophy back.’
We’ve never doubted Poulter’s self–belief, and if he can get his game consistent and iron out that nasty snap hook which occasionally emerges, then why the hell not. But making the 2018 Ryder Cup team, now that is a big ask.