Ryder Cup hero Poulter is raring to go ahead of BMW Masters
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Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter said he was looking forward to some normality at this week’s BMW Masters – despite the money-spinning US$7 million tournament attracting four of the world’s top five players, 11 of the 12 triumphant Ryder Cup team members and 20 of the top 30 players in the Race To Dubai.
Poulter joins most of his teammates from that historic weekend at the Medinah Country Club – barring Spaniard Sergio Garcia - where Europe came from the dead to stun the Americans.
“That Sunday will go down in history,” Poulter said as the stars gathered for the elite 78-man tournament at the Lake Mclaren Golf Club near Shanghai.
“Everyone is so proud of what happened for European golf and for each and every team member. For all of us to get back together again, three weeks later, all but on, is great.
“It’s great to see everybody again and to get back to some sort of normality,” said the Englishman, who hasn’t won this year.
Poulter returns to action for the first time since winning four points out of four for the Europeans, and a period of reflection in the Bahamas.
“I went to the Bahamas to reflect on what happened. It was an historic week for the European team and a big highlight for me, playing as well as I did. It was pretty special.”
World number one Rory McIlroy returns to the scene of his big pay day last year when he won this tournament, then called the Lake Malaren Shanghai Masters, and a staggering 1.24 million-pound first prize before it was seized upon by the European Tour and sponsors BMW.
McIlroy, 23, has spent a week practising in the United States, where he is rumoured to have just bought a US$10 million house in West Palm Beach.
The Northern Irishman has already won the US PGA Tour money list, with more than US$8 million, and is now chasing the European Tour title. He leads the race from England’s Justin Rose and South Africa’s Branden Grace.
“I’ve got great memories of Lake Mclaren from last year, getting my first win in Asia,” said McIlroy, who then went on to win the UBS Hong Kong Open.
“The last big goal of the year is to win the Race To Dubai and try to emulate what Luke [Donald] did last year and win both money titles.”