As you may have guessed from the brand name, I love a sporting underdog story. This part of the blog is for celebrating some of sports’ greatest underdog stories and teaching us how we can learn from them in whatever we do.
Underdogs aren’t just about plucky teams who pull off the odd upset. There is a real strength of character that a true underdog possesses. Like him or loathe him, Ian Poulter has this by the bucket-load.
No moment encapsulates Poulter’s grit and determination more than Ryder Cup 2012. With his European team being soundly battered by USA on the Saturday, few gave the Poulter’s side any chance whatsoever.
Midway through that afternoon though, ‘Poults’ dug deep; seemingly revelling in the scale of the challenge and feeding off the partisan crowd. Playing some incredible golf he salvaged a point and kept Europe clinging on by their fingernails.
Fast forward to Sunday and Poulter’s teammates has clearly taken inspiration from his heroics. Europe pulled off the most unthinkable of comebacks to retain the trophy. Yes, this was of course, a team effort but Poulter’s refusal to accept defeat, kept his side in the fight and that takes true character.
The six years that followed his finest hour, have not been plain sailing. Injury meant he missed Ryder Cup 2016 and his form suffered, not winning a tournament until this year. He could’ve been forgiven for taking a cushy job in television or watching from the sidelines but there is clearly a doggedness within Poulter. A desire to keep struggling through the tough times. A will to get the most out of the sport.
Today, he was named a wildcard pick for the Ryder Cup that takes place later this month and who could begrudge him that?
We could all benefit from that kind of resilience. I know it’s something that I’ll be calling upon as I set out on this journey but that’s what makes it all worthwhile right?