Ian Poulter will devote the rest of his summer to the European Tour as he bids to make a sixth European Ryder Cup team.
One year on from his memorable runner-up finish at TPC Sawgrass, which saw him retain his PGA Tour card, the Englishman is brimming with confidence after his win at the Shell Houston Open – which got him into the Masters – and has now set his sights on Paris.
In order to do that, the 42-year-old – currently eighth on the World Points List – will return to Europe after this week and base himself on the continent for the summer, teeing it up in the BMW PGA Championship and Italian Open in back-to-back weeks before returning across the Atlantic for the US Open at Shinnecock Hills.
He’ll then tee it up in some of, if not all, of the Rolex Series events in the lead up to the Open at Carnoustie, a schedule he believes gives him the best chance of making Thomas Bjorn’s team.
“Obviously it's a massive goal – it's on my mind,” said Poulter, who missed the 2016 Ryder Cup through injury. “I think I'll think about it a lot when I get to the French Open. Probably to be there, to kind of sense what it's going to mean, there will be a lot of emphasis on that week to play well.
“I need to really focus hard over the next four months and make a big European push. There are a lot of points to play for in Europe. I think the points total is 1.5 times in those Rolex events. So I'm really trying to focus on making sure I make that team and don't have to be a pick.
“I know what I need to do to make the team and that is play consistent golf throughout the summer. I need some big finishes, and I know I'm one week away from obviously securing that spot. I want to be there in the right capacity, and I'm focused and determined to do it.”
Poulter is recognised as a talisman of the European Ryder Cup team since the turn of the century. He made his debut in 2004 and boasts an impressive record of 12-4-2 in his five appearances, the most recent of which was at Gleneagles in 2014.