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Page last updated at 16:09 GMT, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 17:09 UK

Poulter welcomes Clarke support

Venue: Valhalla, Kentucky Date: 19-21 September Live TV coverage: Sky Sports Live radio coverage: BBC 5 Live Updates/commentary: Red Button and BBC Sport website Daily highlights: BBC TV/website
Ian Poulter
Poulter made his Ryder Cup debut in the United States in 2004

Europe wildcard Ian Poulter revealed Darren Clarke and Colin Montgomerie had wished him good luck in the Ryder Cup.

Poulter was chosen ahead of the more experienced pair but said of Clarke: "He was very supportive actually, very respectful and he's a great guy."

Montgomerie and Poulter were reported to have had a row in a restaurant.

But the Englishman said: "Monty walked past and said,'Congratulations making the side, all the best for Kentucky.' "I said 'Thank you very much'."

Poulter added that the team spirit in the European camp has been excellent in the build-up to the defence of the trophy at Valhalla in Kentucky, Louisville.

"To be honest, the guys have been great," he said.

"Everybody on the team is united. I think the team morale is great."

Poulter's move to play in America rather than scrap for qualifying points in Europe last month caused a fair amount of consternation in golfing circles.

"The decision was made by myself to play where I wanted to play and I stand by my decision," he insisted.

The 32-year-old has vowed to put aside any criticism of his selection.

RYDER CUP BLOG
BBC Sport's Alex Trickett

"I think certain people might have been pre-empted in what they wanted to say, but that's fine. I'm a big enough boy to go out and play and I'll have my role," he said.

"I'll do my bit for the team."

Team-mate Justin Rose, who may well partner the colourful character this week, had no doubts that Poulter would be able to handle the pressure.

"As much as I know of Ian, when he's got a point to prove he normally goes out there and proves it," Rose said.


see also
Ryder Cup practice photos
16 Sep 08 |  Golf
Ryder Cup explained
16 Sep 08 |  Golf


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