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November 19, 2014

Ian Poulter


STEVE TODD:  Ian, many thanks for joining us.  Welcome to Dubai.  Coming in from last week's performance, I'm sure you take a lot of confidence coming into this week.
IAN POULTER:  Obviously last week was a good week.  Slightly disappointing not to finish the job off but that's happened the last couple of weeks.
The pleasing thing is the new equipment that's gone in has gone in and I've settled into it very quickly, which potentially might have been a concern to a few people.¬† But I felt comfortable for the seven days I had with the equipment before coming on this four‑week stretch.
So I think if I sit back and analyse the last three weeks, overall, I'm very, very happy, but just slightly disappointed that I haven't managed to get across the line at HSBC and obviously last week; with a six‑shot lead after two days, should have pressed on and got the job done.
But coming into a golf course that I like and I've had good success here, being pipped by Robert Karlsson in the playoff and obviously Henrik last year.  I like the golf course.  I like the setup, and hopefully we can go one better.

Q.  Slightly disappointed it sounds like, a monster understatement.  How annoyed were you Sunday night and how determined are you to putt that right?
IAN POULTER:¬† I was really annoyed.¬† You know, Saturday was a bad day.¬† It was a little stop/start from Friday afternoon through Saturday not knowing that there were‑‑ there was a lot of going on.¬† There was a lot of talk.¬† There was a lot of discussion:¬† Are we going to get it done on Saturday; is the storm going to pass; yes, there's electricity; what's happening.
So probably got way too wrapped up in all of that nonsense and not focussing on the job at hand.  And then when I got on the golf course, I didn't do the job that I needed to do on Saturday which left me obviously some work to do on Sunday.
But, you know, pleased to play as well as I played on Sunday.¬† But, looking at how I played Sunday, missing a few opportunities that I had, notably a great shot into 8, missed a five, 6‑foot birdie putt there, and other opportunities around the back nine really to really get the job done.¬† 15, great chance at 15.¬† Outside chance at 17.¬† Obviously had a look there on the last.
So I'm very disappointed.¬† But I'm over it.¬† (Smiling).¬† So I'm moving on to this week.¬† I feel good about what's just happened in the last couple of weeks, 44 in the World Rankings coming into this four‑week spell was nothing to be proud of.¬† But obviously moving forward up to 26 and hopefully with a big win this week, put myself back in a position where I salvage something out of 2014, because it was not looking good.
So there are lots of positives out of the last couple of weeks, and that for me is actually quite exciting.

Q.  There was a Twitter exchange with Greg Norman in which he intimated he could help you with your putting.  Did you give him a ring?
IAN POULTER:  I spoke to him last night, yes.

Q.  What are the things he said?
IAN POULTER:  I'm not telling you.

Q.  Why?
IAN POULTER:  Because I don't know if they are going to work.

Q.  Did you like the sound of it?
IAN POULTER:¬† I mean, I know Greg really well.¬† It was really nice of him to reach out.¬† I mean, he noticed a couple of things which observations‑‑ I'd like to review the coverage, is what I'd like to do, just to see if his observations were my observations, as well.¬† Because obviously‑‑ I've worked hard on my putting the last couple of weeks and I feel like I've made good inroads.
Obviously a couple of putts have slipped past, but I'd like to try and review them myself, as well as obviously having a great opinion from Greg and I would respect his opinion.  I will take on board what he said and I will be on the putting green soon (looking down and checking watch) to hit some putts, and see if what he said is right or wrong.
It would be very easy to just tell you exactly what he said but I'm not going to do that; because is it going to work, isn't it going to work.  I've been working really hard to try and hole putts, and it's started to happen the last couple of weeks.
So you know, I'm right on a fine line right now, I'm walking a fine line of do I mess and try something.  So it would be unfair to say what we discussed on the telephone, and then all of a sudden, see what happens this week.  So I will let you know Sunday night, how about that.

Q.¬† You have a great record in this stretch of tournaments, the end of the season, what do you ‑‑
IAN POULTER:  I'm not moving over here, no.  I'm not moving over here, no (laughing).

Q.  Is there anything that you can learn going forward with regard to schedule for the rest of the year?  Is there anything that happens during this stretch that's pertinent?
IAN POULTER:¬† I've tried to analyse it.¬† I mean, I've tried to work out why I've had good success.¬† Maybe the time zone thing might be a good one.¬† I don't get pestered on the telephone maybe.¬† I don't know what it is.¬† Why would I play well over a four‑week period and have had a lot of success in that gap, I don't know.
Obviously we look at it because you'd like to have that four‑week spell around early April and then kind of middle of June and then the middle of July, you know, but how do you assess what's happened.
       I mean, generally, I've taken October off and I've worked hard, and I've come out fresh and ready to play golf.  It's obvious what's happened this year, taking as much time off as I've taken in terms of practise time, not actual playing, physical time, but having forced leave from practise has upset my golf game.
Now I feel the last couple of months, my body is able to go and practise, which I've done in the few weeks I had off before coming on this spell, and I feel ready to play golf.  That has not been case all year, but I have this stretch every single year after three or four weeks off in October, and that's when I've played a lot of good golf.
So I just can't take three or four weeks off, you know, before long runs all the time.  I am going to perhaps take February off next year, just because I'd like to prep as much as I possibly can going into a long stretch of tournaments leading in through Augusta.  I haven't really tried that one before, but we'll give that one a go and see if that spell of taking a break is actually going to make a difference or not.

Q.  Does it make a difference to you this year that you have not got everythingto aim for?  Does it take a little of the gloss toward?
IAN POULTER:¬† What do you mean, ¬ďeverything to aim for¬Ē?

Q.¬† Obviously Rory has sewn up The Race to Dubai , so you're only going for half the big prize‑‑
IAN POULTER:  That's second place at the minute.  So No. 1 is gone.  There's still a big bonus for No. 2 and that would upset No.2 right now, which is, whom?

Q.  Stenson.
IAN POULTER:  Ahhh, very good.  (Laughter) I'm still chasing Mr.Stenson down like I was chasing him last year.  We haven't had a bet, but anyway.

Q.  Go on.  Well, you've just predicted my second question.  Go on.
IAN POULTER:  We haven't had a side wager, because there's not quite the same takedown, if you take over the No. 1 spot from Rory, because that's already gone.  So it wouldn't have the same effect.  I can't work out, I don't know how many points we're playing for this week, I'm not sure.  I could get close to second.  Does anyone know how many points?
STEVE TODD:  1,600,000,000.

Q.  It's worth 800,000 U.S.
IAN POULTER:  I know that bit.  Oh, yeah, second's on, bring it on.  Chase the Stenson down again.  I was 64 two weeks ago.
It's nice to come into this stretch and feel like you've‑‑ as I said earlier, you can salvage something of 2014.¬† To go sixth, second, and it would be nice to win this week and move nicely up that board.¬† So that's the goal for this week.

Q.  Curious, have you had any updates on the sales of the book?  I know those things can be some lag time?
IAN POULTER:  Book's doing nicely.

Q.  About what you expected?  Do you have any ideas on the numbers?  Is it moving in the U.S., U.S., what are hearing?
IAN POULTER:  I'm doing my launch next Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday in the U.K.  SO I'll be up and down the country, London, Manchester, back to London.

Q.  Like book signings and stuff?
IAN POULTER:¬† Book signings.¬† So I guess the real‑‑ I kind of know the numbers, but the real test is once I get back to the U.K. and I've done some media there and been able to spend some time with the guys buying the books and hopefully get a bit more of a push leading into Christmas.
But right now, the book's doing fantastic.  Very happy with how it's gone down so far.  Been signing books this week from spectator that is have come out on holiday which is lovely, so they have picked it up on the way out and wanted me to sign in the hotel and various places.  It's been very well received.

Q.¬† You kind of made a self‑deprecating comment a few years back about, I think you said you had read Muhammad Ali's book is the only one you've sat down and read.
IAN POULTER:  And the next one is mine I've sat down and read a couple of times.  I had to make a few changes in there, yeah.

Q.  Do you have any idea, Ian, what a book signing is like?  Have you ever done won before?
IAN POULTER:¬† No, got no idea.¬† I have no idea what I'm going home to.¬† I don't know whether I'm going home to 50 people or 500 people.¬† I know that in London‑‑

Q.  Are you going to Waterstones in Piccadilly?
IAN POULTER:  Yes.  So I have no idea.  I haven't thought about it yet, really, because I want to get this week over and done with and then jump on the plane and go home and get stuck into that.  But I start at 7.00 in the morning.  It's a pretty backed schedule to be honest.  Straight into Parkers to sign a lot of books and obviously from there to Piccadilly to do a signing.
I'm going to go on "League of Their Own" on Tuesday evening and then fly up to Manchester and do some BBC Breakfast television stuff and some interviews in between all of that, and then a Manchester book signing, as well, and then on a train back to London and do some more stuff Wednesday evening.

Q.  Have you even thought what you're going to sign?  Will you just say "Ian" or "best wishes"?
IAN POULTER:  I think it will be up to the person that I'm signing for if they would like me to personalise it or not.  But I will sign it and then whatever they would like me to write in the book.  If it's personal for someone then I'll right a note inside.

Q.  Just on the book, as well, I appreciate what you've done in The Ryder Cup, and the fact that you can always write another book, but can you explain writing it now, since presumably you see yourself having more memories, majors, hopefully, and Ryder Cups, as well?
IAN POULTER:  I initially said, no, I didn't want to write the book.  And then R.J., we had a discussion, and I said I'm not ready to do the book.  And then we had another discussion, and R.J. convinced me it was probably a good idea to do the book.  Because up until now, it's been quite a fun journey, and it would be quite good to get it down on paper.
It is early to do an autobiography with so much potential time left, but when is the right and wrong time.  I mean, Tom Watson nearly won The Open a couple years ago at 60.  Do I have to wait until I retire?  I mean, what is the right time to write a book?
There is no right or wrong time.  I just felt that after Medinah, we had a lot of interest to write from several publishers, and if he welt that to release a book after Gleneagles would be a good time to do it.  Thankfully I made the team, and it's worked out nicely.  I'm happy that I've done it and I've got it all down on paper, and then who knows when we might do another one.

Q.¬† Usually there's months and months and months of lead time on those things, and I take it you guys set aside a tiny little sliver for some Ryder Cup reaction the way it worked out‑‑
IAN POULTER:  8.00 Monday morning.

Q.¬† The Faldo stuff obviously got you instant‑‑ some instant attention for the book.¬† Obviously everyone became aware‑‑
IAN POULTER:  He made a disrespectful comment and I commented on his remarks like everybody else commented on his remarks.
So it was something that happened in the week of The Ryder Cup, and I gave my opinion on that comment.  It wasn't done to try and sell an extra couple of books.  It was done because it happened during the week of that Ryder Cup, and it was a comment that I didn't like.  So I made my comment on that comment.

Q.¬† So it was Monday morning after this thing, so we have to do this‑‑
IAN POULTER:¬† It was on the press‑‑ when did it go to press, R.J., the following day?¬† Literally, I had to get it all out Monday, get to them, proofread it by Tuesday for it to hit the print on Tuesday night, I think it was.¬† There was a real tight window, and even tighter window to get the Michael Jordan's comment on the back page which was quite funny.

Q.  Have you had any feedback from Faldo?
STEVE TODD:  Thanks for joining us.  Good luck this week.

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