Poulter's chance to reward captain's faith
Nick Faldo is his own man. Always has been, always will be and certainly was in selecting Ian Poulter for a wildcard pick.
Recent results, past Ryder Cup performances, the opinions of leading players in this team and a past captain, never mind the majority views on previous threads here, all pointed to a call up for Darren Clarke.
The Ulsterman is surely entitled to feel aggrieved. Without having the benefit of playing all the biggest events, Clarke has risen 200 places from 256 in the world off the back of two wins.
He has won 6 ½ points out of a possible eight in the last two matches and been on the winning side four times in five Ryder Cups.
Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell, who will all be in the European locker room at Valhalla, all expressed their support for Clarke.
So too did former captain Bernard Gallacher, who is shocked Faldo plumped for Poulter instead. "I think morale in the team could be a bit lower for picking Poulter ahead of Darren Clarke," Gallacher said.
In a poll of 32 players here at Gleneagles, Poulter received just one vote.
But none of this matters to Faldo. He wants to shape a team in his own way and even the fact that Poulter didn't come to Scotland to try to qualify of right didn't ultimately count against him.
"Obviously it would have helped," Faldo told me. "He will think about that decision for a long time."
At which point I put it to the captain that Poulter had therefore got away with it.
"You have to stand by that call," Faldo said before revealing: "He was absolutely, totally relieved. It was the first time I haven't heard Poulter -if you know what I mean - he was speechless."
Faldo went for him on the back of his brilliant effort on the final day of the Open and the fifteen foot putt he holed thinking it might be enough to win the Championship.
The skipper also likes his attitude and enjoys a strong rapport with the flamboyant Englishman who can boast only two top tens finishes all year.
This pick is a massive vote of confidence in Poulter and inevitably he will face the closest scrutiny at Valhalla.
He doesn't normally mind being centre of attention, though this past week and his transatlantic squabbles with Colin Montgomerie and the media have made it a very uncomfortable time.
Now he has to make sure his golf does the talking and he rewards the faith of his captain.
While it would have been a real asset to have had an in form Montgomerie in the side, he simply hasn't played well enough this year to warrant a pick.
But a big boost to Faldo is the fact that the last three automatic spots were secured by players who needed to deliver when playing for their places.
Justin Rose, Soren Hansen and Oliver Wilson can head to Kentucky full of confidence and that will be important as they will all be making their debuts.
Paul Casey was a natural choice, he too will feel he can repeat the deeds of his previous two Ryder Cup appearances in which he has only been beaten once - by Tiger Woods in his debut singles match.
It is a young side in which Harrington, Westwood and Garcia will be the on course leaders.
Faldo promises to be an all action captain with only Jose Maria Olazabal there as back up. The skipper will be making his decisions on the evidence of his own eyes rather than on information gathered by trusted lieutenants.
It's the Faldo show - he had tough decisions to make, they've been made and soon it will be game time. He heads to America with the team that he wanted. Now can they deliver?
On paper they are strong enough, there is class, form, youth and experience the captain can have no complaints.