US PGA 2013

8th-11th August

Poulter eyes automatic place

Englishman hoping to have played his way on to European side

Last Updated: 13/08/12 1:03pm

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Ian Poulter: Hoping his performance at the USPGA will be enough to secure a Ryder Cup spot

Ian Poulter: Hoping his performance at the USPGA will be enough to secure a Ryder Cup spot

Ian Poulter is hoping he has done enough to clinch a Ryder Cup spot after finishing tied for third at the USPGA Championship.

Poulter replaced Spain's Sergio Garcia in the 10th and last automatic position for the European Team with his efforts at Kiawah Island over the weekend.

However, Garcia and Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts have the chance to relegate Poulter at this week's Wyndham Championship in North Carolina.

But even if he were to be dislodged, the Englishman looks a certainty for a wild card pick from captain Jose Maria Olazabal given his last day performance at the USPGA and the inspirational displays he has given in the last two Ryder Cups.

Poulter birdied the first five holes - and six of the first seven - in a charge that brought him to within two strokes of leader Rory McIlroy.

The Northern Irish star then showed everybody a clean pair of heels to win by a monstrous eight-shot margin and, as he ran out of steam over the closing stretch, Poulter was pipped for second by compatriot David Lynn.

But with four points out of five in Louisville in 2008 - he was a controversial wild card then - and three out of four at Celtic Manor two years ago looks nailed on to be selected one way or another.

"It's just a shame I couldn't quite finish it off," he said of his closing 69 at Kiawah Island. "I guess it was a dream start and it was a great day.

Automatic spot

"This is the last tournament I was going to play for Ryder Cup qualification and I had to play well.

"I was just outside the points, now I'm just inside the points. I don't know how that's going to play out obviously with Gleneagles (next week's Johnnie Walker Championship is the last counting event), but hopefully that's good enough to get me an automatic spot.

"I didn't want to rely on the phone call. I've been there, albeit it was a nice phone call to receive (from Nick Faldo) because I was on the right side of it."

Padraig Harrington received the same call from Colin Montgomerie last time, but is in a more shaky position now.

He had to win the final major of the year to force his way into the side, but although next week's Barclays tournament on New York's Long Island - first of the FedEx Cup play-offs - does not count for points, Olazabal is going to watch it before deciding his two wild cards.

He spoke far more enthusiastically last week about Garcia than he did about Harrington and there is also the possibility now that the out-of-form former world number one Martin Kaymer could need a pick, especially as he has not entered the Gleneagles event.

The following, though, are now safe - McIlroy, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Paul Lawrie, Peter Hanson and Francesco Molinari.

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