EUROPE’S Ryder Cup talisman Ian Poulter insisted he would shrug off a first defeat in eight matches but would have to wait a while to get the loss out of his system.
Paired with rookie Stephen Gallacher in the morning fourballs the duo never really got going and were taken apart 5&4 by United States debutants Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, having been six down with seven to play.
It was a significant blow landed by the Americans – inflicting Poulter’s heaviest defeat in the event – against a player they had targeted from the off as he had been Europe’s leading points scorer in the last three events and sparked the miraculous comeback at Medinah two years ago.
“There are a few guys on our team that specifically would like to match up against Ian,” said Spieth.
“There are a few guys that came up and told us that they are very jealous that we had them today.
“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, he’s certainly not under our skin because we haven’t dealt with him before.”
Because of his heroics in Medinah, Poulter was held up as being Europe’s leading light at Gleneagles but the 38-year-old has been keen to stress there is much more to it than that.
“Obviously my record has been pretty good so taking a dent this morning I can shrug that off and look forward to tomorrow,” said the Englishman.
“Obviously it’s a loss on the board, whether that be 5&4 or one down, but I don’t look at it as a heavy loss, I just look at it as a loss. Ryder Cup is very black or white. It’s very simple: You lose or you win.
“I said to Stevie walking off the golf course when I played with Darren Clarke in 2004 we had our butts kicked the first time I ever played (losing 4&3 to Tiger Woods and Chris Riley) and obviously we’ve had that today.”