Ian Poulter has set his sights on making the European team by merit for this year’s Ryder Cup in Paris (Europe 6/5 Outright Market the Ryder Cup 2018).

Poulter’s win at this season’s Shell Houston Open, which got him into the Masters, has helped propel him to his current eighth position on the World Points list. The top four in both the World list and the European list get an automatic pick, with four wildcards picked by the Captain.

Poulter is determined to get into the European side on merit and does not want to rely on being a Captain’s pick and with that in mind is setting off back to Europe.

“I’m really trying to focus on making sure I make that team and don’t have to be a pick,” he said.

The USA are the current holders and they remain the favourites this time around as they are 5/6 in the Outright Market, with the Tie at 10/1.

He said: “I know what I need to do to make the team and that is play consistent golf throughout the summer. I need some big finishes, and I know I’m one week away from obviously securing that spot.

“I want to be there in the right capacity, and I’m focused and determined to do it.

“There are a lot of points to play for in Europe. I think the points total is 1.5 times in those Rolex events.”

Poulter is recognised as a talisman of the European Ryder Cup team since the turn of the century. He is currently in the thick of it in the Players Championship at Sawgrass where he carded an opening round of two-under-par 70 and sits four shots off the pace.