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April 28, 2015

Ian Poulter


MICHAEL GIBBONS:  Ian, welcome.  Thoughts and feelings on the week ahead.  Hopefully a very long week ahead.
IAN POULTER:  I hope so.  It's another match play format, which obviously I quite like.
I can't remember an awful lot about this golf course, to be honest.  I'm looking forward to getting out there today to have a good look at it.  Obviously it's a new format.  So I guess we'd have to wait and see until Friday night what everyone feels of the change.
Playing in a group of four guys, round robin, one guy out, the fourth moves on.  I'm sure there's going to be one happy camper, and quite a few unhappy ones.  But that's the level of match play.  If you get beat you go home.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:  Quick word on your opponents, you've got a pretty tough group.
IAN POULTER:  Yeah, it seems to be an exciting group.  There's some great players, just like a lot of the other groups or all the other groups.  There's no easy match.  I don't see‑‑ when you look through the groups there's no easy given matches.  We've seen No. 64 beat No.1 in the past.  You've got to play your opponent and try and dispatch them.  So I'm looking forward to it.  It's going to be a good week.

Q.  Last year you played poorly, if you don't mind me reminding you.
IAN POULTER:  Thank you.

Q.  But you handed Rickie the match pretty much.  Is that the best benefit of this format?
IAN POULTER:  Yes and no, because you can win the first two matches and lose the third and be going home.  So you've got basically to win all your matches.  You could certainly lose in the playoff if‑‑ to get out of your group, if you have won the first two.  Someone else could have won two out of three and therefore you could be going home, if you don't.

Q.  Even though you haven't seen the course, if you can either use your imagination or just make up a good answer for me.
IAN POULTER:  I think the last time I played there the only memory I got is I hit a wild shot on the par‑3 and broke some poor lady's nose.

Q.  Have you talked to her lately?
IAN POULTER:  No, I did hand her a signed glove.  It was a rather unfortunate incident.

Q.  When you throw in especially say a Woodland and Jimmy in your group, and you've gone from high desert altitude down to sea level, cold air, ball doesn't go anywhere, smaller course, does that help?  Does that matter?  Does the course even matter?
IAN POULTER:  I don't think it makes any difference in match play.  We've seen short par‑4s, short par 5s, messed up by big hitters.  And yes, they might have an advantage in length over me on those holes.  But match play is match play, there's ways to win and lose holes.  And you really are playing your opponents.
So I feel‑‑ for me, personally, I like the format.  I don't think there's any given advantage to someone that hits it 30 yards past the other one on this golf course.

Q.  Any change of mind on Wentworth?
IAN POULTER:  Someone always has to ask this question, don't they?  It has to be you.  I think I've said enough on that subject.  Don't really need to talk about it anymore.
It's nice to see the pressroom is full of people that everybody that can travel all the way across the pond to be with us.

Q.  I'm sure you've been asked this many times, what makes a good match play player?  Who are some of the other match play players that you admire, as one of the better ones?
IAN POULTER:  Well, who's a good match play player.  You've certainly seen guys play well in the Ryder Cup.  Jordan has done great for them.  He's certainly someone that's a very good match player.  Rickie Fowler, also gutsy.  Rory in the Ryder Cup was very, very strong.  GMAC.  There's so many guys that have won so many matches and have got good records and only‑‑ not only in this event but also in Ryder Cup.
So as I said earlier, you've got 64th best player in the world can beat No.1.  We've seen in it in the past, numerous times, but obviously this format is going to change slightly, so if that happens you've got a chance to get out of your group.  Everybody is a potential and there's no easy matches.

Q.  What makes a good match play player?
IAN POULTER:  Someone who is gutsy, hard, stubborn, ruthless, bulldogish.  That's most of the players in this field.

Q.  I was going to ask you to give us a name that wasn't yours?
IAN POULTER:  A name that wasn't mine?

Q.  Who would you least want to play in match play based on reputation?
IAN POULTER:  On reputation GMAC is one he's not one who you'd first probably pick out.  But he's a great match player.

Q.  Where do those traits come from, then, some people have it and some people don't have them so much?
IAN POULTER:  I don't know where they come from.  We all have a passion to lose, some have a deeper passion than others, I guess.  And the ruthlessness in there, the will to hang in.  Sometimes when people say things aren't possible, it makes you dig in even harder.
And I've certainly had that through my career at certain times and that's where I pull from within to be a tough character.

Q.  Might be a bit of a loaded question, but Jason Day was telling us some stories of matches he played of which he could tell he clearly had annoyed his opponent.  Had you ever noticed you annoying somebody?
IAN POULTER:  You are loading me up today, boys, seriously (laughter).
Plenty.  Plenty.

Q.  This was about conceding putts.
IAN POULTER:  All of my matches I'm sure have gotten under the skin, yeah.

Q.  Have you ever tried to?
IAN POULTER:  No.  I guess it just happens naturally.

Q.  What kind of stuff, speaking generally, what kind of stuff generally gets under people's skin?
IAN POULTER:  Just being stubborn, just being relentless, hitting good shots at the right time, holing putts at the right time, just general stubbornness on the golf course, and not rolling over.
I think that's probably the hardest bit for people to take when you think you're at the hole and all of a sudden you go and hole a chip shot or a bunker shot or a 30 foot putt or you stiff it from a position where you're not expected to hit a miracle shot, I guess that, in itself, is the bit that winds your opponents up.

Q.  Not conceding putts or anything, none of that stuff?
IAN POULTER:  If any putt is not conceded then I'm quite happy to hole it.  And if someone isn't comfortable with that putt then they're obviously not comfortable for a given reason.
So if I've got a two foot putt, I'm happy to finish.  I couldn't give a hoot if someone doesn't give me a two foot putt, because I'm not going to miss it.  I shouldn't miss it.  So therefore why should I be frustrated if somebody doesn't give you that putt.  Always expect to hole your putt.  I'll finish, if asked, and don't get upset by it.  I don't see the problem at all.

Q.  Why do you think they do?  Someone who has not conceded a two foot putt, why do they give a second look?
IAN POULTER:  I have no idea.  That's their mentality.  You shouldn't miss a two foot putt.  Look at the statistics.  There are a number of players that are a hundred percent from three foot and in, over 1400 some putts, that's probably Gary Woodland, so I don't expect him to miss a putt from inside three feet.  Will I make him hole them?  Maybe.  If I feel there's a putt that needs to be holed, then I'll see it.  And if the same situation has happened on my end I'm happy to hole it.  I have no problem.

Q.  You were talking about stubborn, which is a really good word for match play, and rolling over, etcetera, we're talking match play this week.  But do you see that even when you go into stroke play, if I guy has a tendency to roll over, he does it in other formats, too, doesn't he?

Q.  You don't see that?
IAN POULTER:  Generally, no.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:  Ian, many thanks, as always.  Good luck this week.
IAN POULTER:  Lovely of you all to be here.

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