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Poulter boosts Cup hopes

Ian Poulter showed signs of a return to form just in time to reassure Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley that his European talisman will be still worthy of a wildcard pick for Gleneagles.

Poulter has not qualified for the European team outright, but he is almost certainly guaranteed of a wildcard selection given his monumental efforts over the last few years – most notable two years ago at Medinah.

The Englishman has won 12 out of his 15 Ryder Cup matches and always raises his game to a different level for the biennial golfing showpiece.

Injuries have seen him struggle this year though, and McGinley would have had some slight worries about his star man, but an opening round 67 at the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston showed signs of a return to form.

Poulter says his injury problems are behind him now and wants a good FedEx Cup run in the closing events to get fully prepared to take on the Americans at Gleneagles.

"I'm feeling pretty good I just shot four under," he told Sky Sports 4. "I feel my body is holding up well, I feel the work I've done in the last six weeks has been really, really good.

"I'm coming into, I would say, a bit of form at the right time to try and press on this week and then have a couple of good weeks to finish and then keep my fingers crossed and see what happens for the Ryder Cup.

"It's been a horrendous year for injuries. I've been forced to take time off because I can't practise as hard as I've wanted to.

"And that's not good because I like to get out there, I like to have fun on the golf course and I like to work hard and I haven't been able to do that this year until now.

"I'm putting the reps in now, I'm feeling good, the body is feeling a lot better than it was in the middle part of the season and hopefully we can finish the second part of this season real strong."

McGinley will reveal his captain's picks on Tuesday, live on Sky Sports News, and with Poulter a certainty the final two spots look to be between Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Francesco Molinari and Stephen Gallacher.

Gallacher could still qualify by right with a top two finish at the Italian Open, which would then drop Graeme McDowell into needing a captain's pick.