Easy to step aside for Poulter, says Beem

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Rich Beem says it was a straightforward decision to withdraw from this week’s Hong Kong Open to enable Ian Poulter to feature and keep his Ryder Cup hopes alive.

Poulter approached European Tour officials for assistance after dropping outside of the world’s top 50 for the first time in nine years left him ineligible for next month’s WGC-HSBC Masters.

Subsequently, Beem agreed to forego his invitation so that Poulter could be sure of participating in the 13 European Tour events to keep his membership for next season and subsequent eligibility for the Ryder Cup.

The American received thanks from Poulter through his Instagram account and he stated that it was a simple decision to step aside.

“He was expecting to play in the HSBC Masters and that fell through, so he only had one option which was to play in the Hong Kong Open this week,” said Beem.

“I was one of the last sponsor invites and once I was approached by the European Tour about the predicament Ian was in, I didn’t hesitate.

“It was an easy call for me personally to bail out and allow Ian to play.

“I think a lot of professional golfers around the world would agree that it’s the best thing to do and I feel awkward about being in this situation.

“I don’t feel like I’ve done anything special or extraordinary, I think a lot of people would’ve done what I’ve done.”