GLENEAGLES, Scotland -- From his sterling record in the matches to his demonstrative celebrations, Ian Poulter has become the face of a successful European team at the Ryder Cup. A face that apparently has American players lined up at to take their best shot.
"I think everybody on the team wants Poulter, and we were able to have him first," Jordan Spieth said.
Spieth and fellow Ryder Cup rookie Patrick Reed combined to produce a rare early knockout of Poulter, beating the Englishman and Stephen Gallacher, 5 and 4, in a Friday four-ball match. In fact, it was a rare loss in any form for Poulter, who entered this week with a career 12-3 record.
Having not competed in the biennial matches before, Spieth said he had no extra motivation to take on Poulter but acknowledged that some of his teammates do.
"I don't know what it is," Spieth said. "I shouldn't say everybody. I should say there are a few guys on our team that specifically would like to match up against Ian, and I know there are a few guys that came up and told us that they are very jealous that we had them today.
"We were excited about that," Spieth continued. "Yeah, we're not going to name who they are, but whatever it is, past history or just the fact that he's known as being kind of the Ryder Cup wizard for the Europeans."