• Betting Bunker

Ryder hopefuls no match for Poulter

Josh Williams May 16, 2012
Ian Poulter has emerged as a reliable Ryder Cup performer down the years © PA Photos

Click here to bet on the Volvo World Match Play Championship at bet365

This is a Ryder Cup year, which adds an extra layer of intrigue to the matchplay events on the calendar - particularly the Volvo World Match Play Championship, which this week arrives at Finca Cortesin.

Without wanting to delve too deeply into the enigma that is Ryder Cup qualification, there are several players in the field who, as things stand, are set for an automatic place in Jose Maria Olazabal's European squad: Martin Kaymer, Peter Hanson, Justin Rose, Paul Lawrie, Graeme McDowell and Sergio Garcia.

One man not on that list, and someone who revels in both the Ryder Cup and matchplay format, is England's Ian Poulter.

Williams' wager

  • Ian Poulter E/W - 9/1 at bet365

"I love the cut and thrust of matchplay and find it a refreshing change from the usual strokeplay format we play week in week out on the tour," Poulter said.

"And with the fact it is Ryder Cup year, I think it will be even more exciting with every match from the group stages to the final a chance for aspiring team members to impress captain Olazabal in what is our final chance to play matchplay before Medinah [venue for the Ryder Cup]."

Poulter has netted both the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and the Volvo Match Play over the past couple of years, and his Ryder Cup record is excellent: played 11, won eight, lost three.

His strokeplay form has also been impressive of late: third at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, seventh at The Masters, and then the first-round lead at The Players last weekend before falling away.

He hasn't quite got four consistent rounds in him at the moment, but more often than not is playing high-quality golf, and in matchplay he can afford to make the odd mistake without being punished too severely. Odds of 9/1 seem more than fair enough given that this isn't the most daunting field he's ever going to come up against.

Please note that odds are correct at time of publication and are subject to change.

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Josh Williams Close
Josh Williams is an assistant editor of ESPN.co.uk