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The Loop

Thanks to Rich Beem, Ian Poulter will be eligible for next year's Ryder Cup

October 20, 2015

Ian Poulter will spend most of Tuesday making a last-minute long trip to China to play in this week's Hong Kong Open. Why? So that he has a chance to make a trip to Hazeltine next September to play in the Ryder Cup.

Not following? We don't blame you.

Poulter needs to play in 13 European Tour events this year to be eligible for the biennial matches that have been the highlight of his golf career. Poulter planned on playing in the HSBC Champions in Shanghai next month, but since he just fell out of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking on Monday, he's no longer qualified. The Telegraph's James Corrigan first reported on Poulter's sudden change of plans.

How does one enter a tournament so late? This is where the story really gets crazy. Poulter has to switch spots with one of the tournament sponsor's invites. And who was willing to do that? An American very familiar with Hazeltine having won the 2002 PGA Championship there, Rich Beem.

Something tells us U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III won't be showing Beem the same hospitality if we see more moments like this next fall: