Poulter, now 40, stood himself down from playing for around four months last week, when it was disclosed he has been dealing with an arthritic joint in his right foot for more than two years and is trying to rectify the problem.
Poulter joins Thomas Bjorn, Paul Lawrie and Padraig Harrington as vice-captains on Darren Clarke’s staff for the biennial event, which this year takes place in Minnesota.
“When it became clear, given my current foot condition, that I would not be in a position to try and qualify for the team for a sixth time or indeed be able to justify a wildcard pick, I was truly honoured and delighted to be asked by Darren to be a vice-captain,” Poulter said. “Darren knows I will be there to assist him and the 12 players who will line up at Hazeltine in any way I can.”
Poulter, who has had a major impact in his five Ryder Cup appearances, winning 13 points out of a possible 18 and being the driving force behind the Miracle at Medinah in 2012, has slipped to 85th in the world rankings and is without a win since 2012.
On Saturday Rory McIlroy had backed his selection as a vice-captain and said the injury-enforced absence probably saved Clarke from making a tough decision when he came to considering his three captain’s picks for Hazeltine.
“Poults was in a position where he might not have qualified for the team, but it’s tough not to include him,” McIlory told Sky Sports. “I think having Poults as a part of the team, he’s been such a stalwart for us, that it would be weird not to have him there. If he can’t be there as one of the 12 playing, hopefully he’s there as a vice-captain. He’s always good fun and good to be around in the team room and the locker room. If he couldn’t be there playing, I’d love to see him there as a vice-captain.”
This article was written by Mark Tallentire, for theguardian.com on Monday 6th June 2016 10.41 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010