Poulter backs McGinley to win 'David and Goliath' battle

Ian Poulter celebrates after Europe defeated the USA to retain the Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club, Illinois, last year. The Englishman said that common sense prevailed with the appointment of Paul McGinley as the next captain of Europe.

Ian Poulter celebrates after Europe defeated the USA to retain the Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club, Illinois, last year. The Englishman said that common sense prevailed with the appointment of Paul McGinley as the next captain of Europe.


Ian Poulter believes next year’s Ryder Cup will turn into a David and Goliath clash between rival captains Paul McGinley and Tom Watson and he is backing Europe’s skipper to come good against the American great.

Poulter, who inspired Europe’s comeback win over the United States in Illinois in September with a remarkable display of putting, feels McGinley (46) will have an advantage over eight-times Major winner Watson (63) because he is close to his team.

“In many ways he will know his players better than Tom will know his, if for no other reason than he is a lot younger and so much closer to them in terms of playing,” the Englishman said.

“That may prove a big advantage. He will know what makes us tick and what we like – that’s healthy. Tom, because of his age, will inevitably be slightly more detached from his team. He won’t have played as much with the current crop of players.”

Poulter delighted

Poulter said he was delighted when McGinley was announced last month as the successor to Jose Maria Olazabal as captain. McGinley was given the nod by the European Tour’s 15-man Tournament Committee after they had also discussed the relative merits of triumphant 2010 skipper Colin Montgomerie, Paul Lawrie, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Sandy Lyle. “In the end common sense prevailed because it would have been very unjust to have given the job to Colin,” said Poulter.

Wrong reaction

“While of course Colin was influential in our victory (in 2010), to give it to him again so soon would have been a “reaction” to Tom Watson’s selection and I think it would have been the wrong reaction.”

Poulter said there could have been a mini-revolt among the European players if McGinley, who has been a skipper in the Seve Trophy team event and a vice-captain in the last two Ryder Cups, had not been put in charge.

Meanwhile, Jaco Van Zyl sits atop the leaderboard following the opening day of the Africa Open in East London but could lose the first-round lead tomorrow after strong winds saw many competitors fail to complete 18 holes today.

South African Van Zyl shot a six under par 66 to lead by one from Brazil’s Adilson Da Silva, who racked up five birdies in just eight holes before play was suspended for the day due to bad light. Ireland’s Gareth Maybin shot a 74, while Damien McGrane recorded a 75. David Higgins was level par after 12 when play was suspended

Women's golf Holmqvist removes venom with a golf tee after spider bite - and plays on

Daniela Holmqvist performed emergency surgery with a golf tee to extract potentially fatal spider venom from her leg before going on to complete her round in a qualifying event for the women’s Australian Open in Canberra.

The Swede (24) was on the fourth hole at the Royal Canberra Country Club on Tuesday when she was bitten by what she suspected to be a black widow, which resulted in immediate swelling.

Instead of seeking medical attention, Holmqvist treated herself and went on to card a round of 74 that was not enough to qualify for the LPGA Tour event.

“I cut up the swelling with a peg and squeezed out the poison,” the golfer wrote on her blog. “My ‘operation’ was quite well done, but not well enough that I should quit as a golfer and look into medical school,” she quipped. “They bandaged the wound, which will be supervised in the near future. If the leg is starting to feel weird, it’s apparently straight to the doctor, ‘without passing go’, the Ladies European Tour rookie added.

Teenage amateur Lydia Ko shot a blistering 10-under 63 to take the outright lead after the first round.

Ko, who won the New Zealand Open at the weekend, continued her impressive form with a remarkable round that included an eagle, 11 birdies and three bogeys at the Royal Canberra Golf Club. The 15-year-old said it was her best performance since carding an eight-under on her way to winning the New South Wales Open last year.

Colombia’s Mariajo Uribe was a stroke behind in outright second, followed by Jiyai Shin of South Korea at eight under.

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