USA targets McIlroy and Poulter

US Ryder Cup team captain Tom Watson says he plans to target Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter in a bid to sap the European team’s confidence.

McIlroy is currently ranked number one in the world and won three of this year’s four majors, while Poulter played a central role in Europe’s 14 ½ to 13 ½ win over the US at Medinah Country Club in Chicago in 2012.

“When you beat the stud on the other side, it gives a boost to your team,” he is reported to have said by BBC Sport.

“The bottom line is that if each of your players wins more than they lose, we win as a team. That is what I have told our team.

“Poulter, he’s an 80% victor over the matches he has played in. We would like to reduce that.”

The USA have won the Ryder Cup just once since 2002 – the 2008 edition at Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky.

Europe are firm favourites heading into the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, and boast a team with four players in the top six of the world rankings.

McIlroy tops the chart, Spain’s Sergio Garcia is currently third, Swede Henrik Stenson is fifth and England’s Justin Rose is sixth.

US Open champion and world number 12 Martin Kaymer is also in the team.