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Poulter ups stakes with 'kill' comment

ESPN staff
September 27, 2012 « Nadal: 'Fantastic' Murray has got it all | Chartbeat test »

The Ryder Cup gets underway at Medinah Country Club on September 28. ESPN will have extensive coverage of the event - including interactive text commentary, reports and reaction - for all three days.

Englishman Ian Poulter has cranked up the tension at the Ryder Cup by joking that he wants to "kill" his opponents this week at Medinah.

Poulter, one of four Englishmen in Jose Maria Olazabal's 12-man European team this week, has a reputation for speaking his mind - and has done so once again by admitting there will be no quarter given when he plays in the event this week.

Captain Olazabal and his American counterpart, Davis Love III, have insisted this week that the match will be played in a friendly manner, but Poulter's comments indicate that may be an optimistic outlook.

"There's something about Ryder Cup which kind of intrigues me: how you can be great mates with somebody, but, boy, do you want to kill them in Ryder Cup?" Poulter said. "The Ryder Cup means too much to us for it ever to lose that edge."

Poulter is not the most popular European player among the US team, having previously raised eyebrows with confident declarations of "delivering my point" in Ryder Cups past. His emotional celebrations on-course have also irked some.

"When it comes down to playing Ian Poulter in the Ryder Cup, I don't want to lose to him," Steve Stricker said this week. "When he yells and screams, his eyes bug out. That's why you want to beat him."

Poulter, however, will not be toning down his antics when the real action gets underway.

"Are you kidding me? Are you for real?" Poulter said, when he was asked if Olazábal had called for some restraint. "Are you going to tell someone not to enjoy holing a putt in front of 20,000 people and seeing them go bananas? That is Ryder Cup. That is what it means. Hell no.

"It is like scoring a penalty in a Champions League final. You should enjoy it. You have got the potential to hole many of them during the day so why not give it a fist pump? No, we haven't been told to tone down any enjoyment factor when trying to beat the opposition."

Poulter is an avid user of Twitter, a social medium Olazabal has warned players not to use excessively during the competition.

"I'm not banning them from using it but I've told them to be careful what they say, how they say it and when they say it," the Spaniard said. "They need to be a little cautious."

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