Rather like Doctor Bruce Banner bursting out of his denims and morphing into the Incredible Hulk, the Ryder Cup can have a great transformative effect on players.

In the febrile atmosphere of the cut-and-thrust, even those golfers who are relatively restrained during the rest of the year suddenly find their eyes bulging and their veins popping like an overworked glassblower as they burst into bouts of adrenaline-fuelled histrionics when a 20-footer to go one-up drops in the hole.

It’s all part and parcel of the Ryder Cup’s absorbing tumult. In Ian Poulter, Team Europe has a player who punches the air with so much unbridled, emotional gusto, even that very air is just about left with dents in it.

“I think you just have to let it happen naturally,” he said of this spontaneous outpouring of energy. “I don't think it's something you can plan for. You've seen through the years players who show no emotion, all of a sudden start to show emotion.

“I don't think it’s something that you'll sit at home and go, ‘right, if I hole the putt on the first I'm going to fist pump’. It happens naturally. I think we all have a lot of pressure, a lot of build up, a lot of intensity during the start of this week and it just naturally flows out.

“Usually, we don't fist pump on the first green of a regular week but you have the opportunity to let some of that energy out this week, and that's why I think we see so much of it done.”

Given the prolonged build-up and exhausting propaganda that goes into three days of competition, it’s hardly surprising that the 24 players involved are like coiled springs waiting to go, well, boing.

Poulter will relish every minute of the fraught parrying and jousting in a matchplay theatre which is the purest form of this Royal & Ancient game. 

Since his debut for Europe at Oakland Hills in 2004, the Ryder Cup has roused the 45-year-old’s senses like nothing else in golf. In six appearances, he has been on the winning side five times while his haul of 15 points from 22 matches is up there with the best.

“I hate losing,” was his simple response to being asked why the Ryder Cup hoists him to a different level. “When you play matchplay, you know what you have to do when you tee up on the first hole. You can control a match. You can dictate a match. You can play certain shots to try and put your opponent under pressure. It's just a fun game of chess. You’re under pressure right from the get-go. With strokeplay you kind of plod your way into the tournament, but with this, it’s the back-nine on a Sunday mentality every single time you tee it up. It's just a very simple form of golf. You never play a what-if game. It's a single-minded focus on your target. And the more simple it is, the easier it is for my brain to understand and go aggressively at those targets.”

Poulter’s efforts in the 2012 tussle remain seared on the memory as he kick-started the Miracle of Medinah. At one point on a downbeat Saturday, the Europeans were 10-4 down but Poulter, his face increasingly contorted with competitive fever, birdied his last five holes in the fourballs to win his match as he reached a level of sporting engagement that bordered on the hysterical. That win in the penultimate session prompted a turning of the tide that would become a European singles tsunami.

“I'm always looking on the highlights reel,” he said of that epic contest. “When you're pretty busy on social media there's often highlights of all the good things you've done through the years. Obviously, Medinah is one of them for me. It's good to get those positive vibes.”

Poulter has vanquished plenty of Ryder Cup foes down the seasons and remains as hungry as ever to add a few more scalps. “I'm sure I've annoyed plenty,” he said with a smile when asked if his passion and profitable performances had any effect on those he had beaten. “My percentage has been really nice for me and not for the guys I've played against. I'm sure that's been pretty frustrating to be on the receiving end. I just enjoy holing putts and winning matches. It's been a great ride.”

Strap yourself in again, folks.