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March 19, 2015

Ian Poulter


Q.  Ian Poulter, great start this tournament.  Pretty clean out there, 67.  You appeared to have great command of your shot selection and reading those greens as well.
IAN POULTER:  Yeah, I played lovely today.  Put it in play, done what I needed to do.  Obviously not made many mistakes.  This is a golf course which can cut you out.  I played the key holes very smart, took a couple of chances, nice eagle there at 16 which is always very helpful to the scorecard.  All in all, 5-under par is a nice start to this tournament.

Q.  Eagle at 16 was a 16-foot putt.  You had to come through the fringe and kind of judge it, the undulation.
IAN POULTER:  The putt was actually a left edge putt.  Just how it come out of the fringe grass.  Actually come out nicely.  I struck it well and it kept its line.

Q.  How much fun is this for you to play this event in basically your adopted home town Orlando and play in front of Mr. Palmer?
IAN POULTER:  I mean it's always nice being a MasterCard Ambassador as well.  It's nice to sleep at home.  Got a lot of home support here, guys have flown in to watch me play.  Mum is coming in on Saturday.  Hopefully we have a nice tee off time where we can all have a nice time on Sunday.

Q.  What were the chain of events last night?
IAN POULTER:  Well, I was driving home yesterday and the day before, Joshua wasn't feeling too good.  "Doc Arrow" who lives very close by is a personal doctor.  He came around and took a look, we took him into the clinic to take a look.
He didn't get any better so I was driving home 6:45 and Katie called me and said, "Listen, I'm going to take him for a chest x-ray, have a look."
Took him to the hospital by to the house.  Took some blood.  They weren't very happy with his oxygen level being 84, very, very, very low so that was a big concern.  Put an IV in and got some antibiotics and some steroids in him to try and settle that down.  Had a full nebulizer which made him pretty sick.
So I didn't see him until about half 12 last night when they come back from the hospital.  I stayed at home, Amiee went with Katie and Josh went to the hospital, checked his x-rays and obviously one side was -- got in fluid on there.  He was okay this morning, his oxygen level was up again which is good.  So, hopefully the IV and the drugs will start to kick in and hopefully makes a speedy recovery.

Q.  Did they say what it was?
IAN POULTER:  Pneumonia.

Q.  Pretty hard to focus with what you're doing.
IAN POULTER:  I suppose it was a blessing, last tee off time.  Katie sat with him in the spare room.  He's in my bed at half 12, kind of minutes and I'm dosing off and you just want to make sure he's okay.
Katie was a nurse by trade so I knew he was in good hands and I got a decent night's sleep, woke up this morning and he was a little better this morning.

Q.  With all that going on, shooting this good today, that seems to be something you wouldn't have expected.
IAN POULTER:  He's in good hands.  The hospital is five minutes away and Katie and Aimee take good care of him.  I can come out, focus on my job and obviously get back home and see how he is.  He was good to see.  It was good to see the improvement from midnight last night until obviously this morning so he's obviously definitely on the mend.
Q. (Inaudible).
IAN POULTER:  I was No. 1 in proximity to the hole at Honda which is a reflection of how well I've played.  I'm not reading an awful lot into the following week.  Obviously last week I was 13th in proximity which obviously means I'm playing good golf and I know that right now.
This is a course I play very well.  I've had quite a few Top 25s, 3rd place a couple years ago.  So I'm just happy to keep rolling right now, you know, to keep playing well, keep hitting it close to the pin, rolling a few putts in and then I can obviously start two weeks off and really prepare for the Masters.

Q.  What do you take out of Monday on Honda?
IAN POULTER:  I hit more good shots than I did rubbish ones so I'll pull on the good shots I hit.  I know what the faults are in my game.  Today, we had a few half shots to play, tricky shots and I actually executed all of them lovely.  So, you know, it's work, it's work in progress.
I know the good is really good and the mistakes have been costly over the last few weeks.  If I eliminate the mistakes I'm definitely going to be in with a chance to win.

Q.  What do you like about this golf course?
IAN POULTER:  I think there's a good mixture of holes.  Obviously the 5s lend themselves to the longer hitters but then again you've got other key holes in the golf course, positional holes, hitting 3-wood off the tee, hit some hybrids to get in position.
Puts it into my game which I've done pretty well this year with the short iron in hand.  I can compete against I think against the big boys around the place.

Q.  Soft shots, those are the ones at Honda you didn't execute.
IAN POULTER:  Slightly right.

Q.  How much have you spent working on them?
IAN POULTER:  Not that I've -- I haven't taken myself off to the range to grill myself hours and hours hitting soft shots.  I'm still doing the same routine as I have been doing, but making sure obviously when I'm practicing I'm hitting a few of them and obviously making sure that I'm committing to the shot that it play.
It's a commitment thing, whether that's -- it's more a mental error than a swing error and I've done a good job, you know, fighting against it the last couple weeks.

Q.  On a lighter note, have you got your pants wardrobe for Augusta?
IAN POULTER:  This will definitely be one of the outfits for sure.

Q.  How about the greens here?
IAN POULTER:  They're not as good as what they would like to have them.  Obviously they're going to rectify them for next year.  The greens are going to be replaced for next year.  It happens from time to time and it's a shame that obviously happened so quickly after they did it three years ago, something like that.  Arnie puts a lot of hard work into this tournament to try to get it ready and they're not as good as he would have liked it but they're good.

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