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Ian Poulter has shown his full support for Europe’s Ryder Cup team after Jon Rahm revealed the exiled LIV golfer had been giving him advice in the build-up to this year’s contest.
Poulter will not play any part in the European side for the first time in 17 years after becoming ineligible for the match when resigning his DP World Tour membership amid mounting sanctions for playing LIV events.
It is the first time since 1995 that this tournament hasn’t featured one of Poulter, Lee Westwood or Sergio Garcia, giving the European team a distinctly different feel without their trio of stalwarts.
And Poulter, who was Europe’s talisman with five wins in seven Ryder Cup appearances, will be supporting his old teammates at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club back home on TV this time around.
“Before all the fun and games begin for @rydercupeurope vs @rydercupusa I wish all the lads the best of luck in Rome this weekend and hope they can regain the trophy and bring it back to Europe,” Poulter wrote in a classy message on social media.
“The team looks young energetic with incredible experience which is a great combination.”
Poulter’s nod of support comes after Rahm, one of the new leading figures in the European locker room, told reporters that he had been picking the Englishman’s brains ahead of the match in Rome.
The Spaniard said in his press conference on Tuesday that he had spoken to both Poulter and his compatriot Garcia.
“I did have a little bit of a chat with (Garcia), as recently as yesterday (Monday) and with Poulter, as well,” Rahm said. “It’s not going to be easy to take on the role that those two had both on and off the golf course, but (I) just (wanted) to hear them talk about what they thought and what they felt is invaluable information.”
Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, claimed on Wednesday that Poulter, Westwood and Garcia will miss the Ryder Cup more than the team misses their presence in the locker room.
“I mean, it’s certainly a little strange not having them around,” McIlroy said. “But I think this week, of all weeks, it’s going to hit home with them that they are not here.
“I think they are going to miss being here more than we’re missing them. This week is a realisation that the decision they made has led to not being a part of this week, and that’s tough. The landscape in golf is ever-changing and more dynamic, and we’ll see what happens and whether they will be part of it in the future.
“I always thought leading up to this week is when it’s going to hit home that they are not going to be here.”
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