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Ian Poulter's obsession with the World Golf Championship gives him his final Ryder Cup push

IAN POULTER'S passion for the World Golf Championship events seems to be giving him the last push to the European team for the Ryder Cup next month.

Poulter has won two of the biggest victories in his career, both in WGC competitions. He also finished second on two occasions.

Ian Poulter continued his love affair with World Golf Championship events at the St Jude Invitational

He is now on the verge of a third victory in the world, having added a four-under par 66 to his first round 64 at Memphis' St Jude Invitational.

Poulter, 45 years old, was concerned that spending two weeks at home in England with his family after the Open would dull his competitive edge. However, those fears were completely unfounded.

To be three shots behind Harris English, the pacesetter early in the race, he has already made 11 birdies and one bogey over his first 36 holes.

Even that one bogey must feel like a birdie.

Poulter misplaced a ball on the ninth tee, but he managed to hit a 35-footer to stop the damage.

Poulter also managed to ignore a wild drive on the par fifth third to send a 209 second shot screeching to an halt 12 feet away from the flag. This was his first of five birdies.

He stated that the Ryder Cup was always on his mind. I have played in six and want to play in seven.

"Two to three weeks more of this type of golf should be enough."

Rory McIlroy, who had missed out on a bronze at the Tokyo Olympics, entered the tournament.

After his Games debut, the Northern Ireland star managed a par 72 of two over.

McIlroy finished round 10 behind leader Harris English in 62nd.