• Ryder Cup

Olazabal fears Poulter won't win major

ESPN staff
October 3, 2012
Ian Poulter claimed four points for Europe at the Ryder Cup © Getty Images

European captain Jose Maria Olazabal has told Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter that his lack of explosive power from the tee could cost him his dream of major success.

Poulter was in inspired form as Europe retained the Ryder Cup at Medinah over the weekend, delivering four points from four matches.

He has emerged as something of a matchplay specialist in recent years, winning the WGC Match Play in 2010 and the World Match Play in 2011.

However, a first major crown continues to elude him - his best finish is second at The Open in 2008 - and Olazabal fears the Englishman may never achieve glory at one of the four showpiece events.

"The Ryder Cup brings out the best in Ian on the course. In a way, he reminds me of Seve with his intensity, his focus, his will to win the point," Olazabal said. "He thrives on Ryder Cup spirit. When you play as an individual maybe you don't get that adrenaline flow.

"Winning a major is difficult. The only thing, if anything, is that maybe he lacks a bit of power and these days it's important to have that extra gear off the tee, or to be able to attack a flag or green with a seven or five iron.

"Every player has an Achilles heel. There is not a single player who played this game that is perfect in every department. Sometimes it is driving, chipping and putting. You have to live with it.

"But if the conditions are right he will be knocking on the door. Ian can be great at whatever he does because of the passion he puts into it. Ian has been crucial in the past two Ryder Cups.

"If he ever becomes Ryder Cup captain, he could do with 12 players just like him."

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