The news came out last week that Ian Poulter will miss this year's Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National with a foot injury -- a disappointing blow for European golf fans. The fiery Englishman owns a 12-4-2 record over five events.
Poulter will miss four months as he tries to recover from injury. Though the 40-year-old might not be holing putts at Hazeltine, he will be there as a vice captain, getting the nod from captain Darren Clarke on Monday as the team's fourth captain.
Poulter joins Padraig Harrington, Thomas Bjorn and Paul Lawrie as assistants to Clarke with some serious experience. Bjorn and Poulter played on the winning 2014 Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles. Lawrie was a part of the Miracle at Medinah in 2012 for Team Europe. And Harrington has played in five Ryder Cups for the Europeans from 1999 to 2008.
Despite not having Poulter playing in the matches in Minnesota, European players are pumped to have the Englishman in the team room.
"[Ian] brings a lot of energy," says Luke Donald. "He's always good to be around. He's got that good energy that he's going to get it done no matter what and people feed off that."
The American team might be dodging a bullet with Poulter on the sidelines, but having him in the team room has the potential to energize the Europeans.
--additional reporting from Brian Wacker