Ian Poulter has been named The Race to Dubai Golfer of the Month for September after he left “a continent in rapture” with his influential display as Europe surged from behind to retain The Ryder Cup against the United States at the Medinah Country Club on the outskirts of Chicago.
Poulter, who receives an engraved alms dish and a jeroboam of Moët & Chandon champagne, collected four points from four matches – energising Europe on the Saturday afternoon with birdies at the last five holes to claim a vital fourball victory with Rory McIlroy on the last green, then completing his personal master-class with a singles win against Webb Simpson.
The Englishman was the overwhelming choice of The Race to Dubai Golfer of the Month Panel, comprising members of the Association of Golf Writers as well as commentators from radio and television, who also praised European captain José María Olazábal in addition to Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño (BMW Italian Open presented by Cartasi) and Peter Hanson (KLM Open), both winners on The European Tour International Schedule, and Rory McIlroy, who captured the BMW Championship in America.
Poulter said: “I am delighted to be named The Race to Dubai Golfer of the Month, the week at Medinah was truly incredible and something I will always cherish. It is important to note that this was a team event, and I couldn’t have played the way I did without the support and belief I had from all my team-mates including caddies, the four Vice Captains and, of course, Captain Olazábal. This accolade is for all of us. The Ryder Cup will always be very special to me, because of the pure pride and passion it brings out in everyone, and I am already looking forward to Gleneagles in 2014!”
Derek Lawrenson, Golf Correspondent of the Daily Mail, said: “It was another month full of worthy candidates. Peter Hanson’s victory in the KLM Open was particularly impressive, given he was on the verge of pulling out owing to his son falling ill. José María Olazábal achieved the dream of a lifetime in captaining Europe to a Ryder Cup win, while Rory McIlroy continued his astonishing form with his third win in four events in America.
“But there’s no question who was The Race to Dubai Golfer of the Month – Ian Poulter left his team-mates in awe with his Ryder Cup showing and a continent in rapture.”
Iain Carter, Golf Correspondent of BBC Radio Five Live, said: “There is no doubt that the outstanding performance came from Ian Poulter at The Ryder Cup. He was the inspiration behind the greatest comeback we have ever seen. When we talk about great performances at future Ryder Cups, Poulter’s feat will be regarded as the measuring stick.”
James Corrigan, Golf Correspondent of The Daily Telegraph, said: “Ian Poulter’s performance at Medinah was perhaps the most influential Ryder Cup display by any individual in the history of The Ryder Cup. He became the first player to play four and win four since Jack Nicklaus in 1981. Poulter embodies an event which stirs the passions like no other in the game. In a team competition he stood head and shoulders above the rest – and the rest happened to be the very best in the world.”
And Peter Dixon, Golf Correspondent of The Times, said: “Rory McIlroy described Poulter as Mr Ryder Cup – and who could argue with him? Without Poulter, the Cup would have been lost.”
Poulter follows Branden Grace (January), Paul Lawrie (February), Rory McIlroy (March and August), Louis Oosthuizen (April), Luke Donald (May), Jamie Donaldson (June) and Ernie Els (July) in winning a Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month Award this year. All eight will join subsequent recipients in being considered for The 2012 Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Year Award.