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April 11, 2015

Ian Poulter


Q.  67, third round.  Minus 4 for the tournament.  Course at least early on seems more forgiving.  Low round of 67.  What was different about the conditions so far today?
IAN POULTER:  I think there was a few more accessible pin locations today after the overnight rain.  Definitely softened the course.  I didn't really hear too much of the sub air today.  I'm sure it was going through the night last night to obviously keep the greens as firm as possible.
But some good hole locations, where you could see the ball in to some of the pins.  I think you'll see some of the guys having a chase around that front nine and obviously we know what can happen on the back nine.  The holes like 15 are obviously key chances there.
But the course played well today.  And I played exceptionally well.  I hit the first 17 greens in regulation.  And if you're going to do that then you're hopefully going to make some birdies.  I made five good birdies, which I was very happy about.  But I left a few out there.  I hit a few blade shots into holes like 10, six feet, missed that.
As nice as it was shooting 67, I still walk off the golf course thinking I could have had a couple less.  But it's been the same over the first two days.  Making mistakes, not hitting all the greens that I wanted to hit in regulation, making simple mistakes costs you around this golf course and I done that on the first two days.  I played exceptionally well today and obviously no mistakes.

Q.  You touched on it a moment ago, and conditions will change throughout the afternoon.  But what do you expect to happen at the top of the leaderboard based on course that you just walked off of?
IAN POULTER:  Can you tell me what Jordan is going to shoot today?

Q.  I can't.
IAN POULTER:  He's got five shot lead right now, and he's the hottest guy on the planet.  So I don't know how he's going to fare.  He's got no scar tissue on this golf course.  He played his first Masters last year, finished second.  So he's got good thoughts.
He's got obviously a hot putter right now.  So that's just what you need right around this golf course.
So it's for the guys just behind to kind of chase.  And that's why I think there's a couple more accessible pins.  They might be able to put the squeeze on, but it's up to him, it's in his hands.  The way he's playing right now and rolling the ball it's up to him.

Q.  Darren said that's the best he's ever seen you play.  67 should have been 63.  Is that a fair assessment?
IAN POULTER:  Yes, that was a fair assessment.  I hit the first 17 greens in regulation.  I was aware of that.  I'm just trying to get out in the fairway and trying to hit a miraculous shot to get it on the green but it didn't go up and down.  I played pretty flawless golf.  Putting it in the right position off the tee.  Had a lot of good birdie looks.  Left a few on the course.
As Darren said, but it's probably the best round of golf I've ever played at Augusta.  17 greens in reg.  And is eight feet off the last green.  Says a lot about my game right now, that I'm playing really well.  I figured if I only missed four greens or five greens on day one, less on day two and I was making bogeys, then if I just get it on the green then I'll be fine.  So I did that really well today.  But still leaving a few out there.  The putter needs to warm up.

Q.  You said on Twitter last night you weren't happy at all.  What did you do to sort it out?
IAN POULTER:  Just missing a couple of key putts over the first couple of days, I would expect to hole.  I've got a lot of good practice and prep, sloping putts, I've been practicing downhill putts, slopey right‑to‑left, left‑to‑right.  I don't do probably what I was expected to do, get it close enough on the first two days on the greens that I missed.  If you're going to short side yourself, then you put yourself under pressure to hit the perfect chip shot, and if you don't, it puts you under pressure from under eight feet on these greens, and that's not easy.

Q.  The SubAir systems were in use?
IAN POULTER:  I didn't hear them.  But I can only assume they would have been‑‑ I can only assume they would have been on.  The putting surfaces, they're not too soft.  They're not too firm.  We had a good amount of rain last night.  I don't know exactly.  But I woke up this morning and heard it raining.  So there's only a slight amount of moisture you can pull out of the greens overnight.  But obviously a few more accessible pins on the front nine today than there were yesterday or certainly Thursday.  And I think guys can make a run, try and make a run at Jordan.  He's got a decent lead right now.  He's hitting it pretty good and he's rolling it even better.
So that's a nice formula right now.

Q.  Darren also said if you got the putter working you will win soon.  Is that a fair assessment?
IAN POULTER:  I know.  I know that.  I know that from Honda.  I know that from Tampa.  I'll probably put a different putter grip, as silly as it sounds, I've used one putter grip for about nine years in my career.  I've been away from that a couple of years ago, but I've got a feeling that might be on next week.  I will cut it off the second I get home.  I can't wait to throw this putter grip in the bin and put the new one on.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
IAN POULTER:  It's an old pistol grip, which‑‑

Q.  You've still got it?
IAN POULTER:  I've got new ones.  I've had boxes of them made.  So I have plenty of them.

Q.  What is the schedule coming up, where is the win going to come from?  What is your schedule?
IAN POULTER:  Well, I'll play Hilton Head.  I will then‑‑ I'll then have a week off, match play, players, week off.  I won't be going back over to Europe.  I'll probably stay this side of the pond.

Q.  British Open?
IAN POULTER:  I might play Scottish.  I might play that.

Q.  Do you notice change in Darren after he made captain?
IAN POULTER:  Darren will be the first one to say he hasn't played his best over the last couple of years.  And obviously I guess being a pick for the captain there's a mindset change there, from a playing perspective.  As a captain he's going to be busy over the next 18 months.
With that in mind, yeah, I guess he's got other things to take care of his mind away from the golf course.  But he's still a great player.  He still hits great shots.  He's still got it in him.  He hit three glorious shots into 1 today.  So the Darren can still play golf.  And that's exciting to see.  With Jimenez playing the way he still plays at his age, I'm sure Darren, if he works hard, can obviously get back in the winner's circle.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
IAN POULTER:  Well, I think it's exciting for him, really.  As a captain, it's a huge honor, and something that I'm sure he wanted to do the days where he was.  It was a general progression, that he would have liked to have taken that role.  I think he'll really enjoy it and he'll be very good at it.

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