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Poulter: Ryder stars strong

Ian Poulter feels Europe's key Ryder Cup stars are hitting form at just the right time ahead of September's clash with the United States at Gleneagles.

Poulter was the hero of the 'Miracle of Medinah' in 2012 and he expects captain Paul McGinley to have a 'great team' when they look to defend that victory in Scotland later this year.

There are only three Europeans in the current top 10 of the world rankings, compared to five Americans, but Poulter is delighted to see former world No 1s Luke Donald and Lee Westwood coming back to their best form, players who would clearly boost McGinley's options.

Donald was second in the RBC Heritage last weekend, pipped by Matt Kuchar, and Westwood returned to winning ways with victory in the Malaysian Open to climb back into the world's top 30.

Poulter is looking to improve his own chances of an automatic place at this week's China Open, ahead of which he said: "I think Paul McGinley will be fairly happy with the players that are coming into form right now.

"Several months back, I guess the team looked very different on paper but as we all always know world-class players generally play well when it gets to the majors and we've obviously got a few of those (coming up).

"Luke Donald is playing very well, Sergio (Garcia) is playing well, (Lee) Westwood has just won and there are a number of guys who played in the last Ryder Cup who are coming to form.

"I'm there or thereabouts. There's a long time between now and September to make the side. We've still got three majors to go, we've got WGC events, a couple of the biggest events to go in Europe as well.

"It's a long season and there's lots of tournaments that I'm focusing on for qualification purposes.

"I think the team will slowly take shape over the summer, and yet again come September it's going to be two great teams fighting it out to get their hands on that fabulous trophy."