Monday, June 6, 2016

Sidelined by injury, Ian Poulter named Ryder Cup vice-captain

Ian Poulter won't be able to compete as a player in the 2016 Ryder Cup, as he's sidelined for the next 4 months with a foot injury. However, that won't keep the Englishman from having an influence on the matches this September in Minnesota.

European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke announced Monday that he had appointed Poulter as his fourth of five allotted vice-captains for the biennial contest held at Hazeltine National.

Poulter has played on the 12-person European side five different times, including 2004 and from 2008-14. In that stretch, he has gone an intimidating 12-4-2. His Saturday fourball rally is credited with spurring the European side to its 2012 final day rally, known as the Miracle at Medinah, when the visiting team came back from a four-point deficit to tie the biggest comeback in Cup history.

After the 40-year-old announced last week he would face extended time on the sidelines, it became clear Poulter couldn't make the team on points and would need Clarke to use one of his three captain's picks on the Englishman. 

"When it became clear, given my current foot condition, that I would not be in a position to try and qualify for the team for a sixth time this year or indeed be able to justify a wild card pick, I was truly honored and delighted to be asked by Darren to be a vice-captain," Poulter said Monday.

“The best moments of my career have come when I have been wearing the blue and gold crest of Europe on my chest, knowing at the same time that the contest means so much to every European player and to every European fan, either in the crowd or watching back home on television."

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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