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October 8, 2015

Ian Poulter

Woburn, England

IAN POULTER: Obviously it was a little cool this morning, but had a good putt on the tenth tee to start off. Nice to make 3 on your opening hole, get off to a nice start.

Birdieing 12 was quite nice as well. Kind of settled into the round after a couple silly bogeys.

Poor shot into 14, always going to be a tricky up-and-down from that front left bunker, especially when the pin is on the right half of that green.

A bit of a chunky wedge, shall we say, into 15, this was a bit frustrating. It was a par-5, I should be taking advantage of that. It seemed scoring range. I kind of threw, I would have said, two shots away on that hole.

All in all, 3-under par is a decent start, especially with a couple of putts that felt like they were dropping and edged out.

Q. They never go in when you walk up to them?
IAN POULTER: You should never walk after them. Plenty enough of times when you are so confident and you think it's going to drop, that's why it shocks you time after time after time. You keep saying just stop walking after it, it's not good.

Q. When was the last time you felt nervous standing on the first tee of a regular Tour event?
IAN POULTER: Been a long time. A long, long time.

Q. Would you equate to the first hole of the Masters?
IAN POULTER: No, more so. Not Ryder Cup. It was nice to have that feeling. That's a feeling I haven't had for a long time. I always said I struggle with getting up for rounds of golf because it's not that they don't mean anything, but it's a Thursday.

It was good to see lots of faces out there, great crowds, the weather is good and get that tingle, the buzz that you really want to get going. It's just a shame a little lapse of concentration, just as I was settling into the round of golf was a shame. Apart from that, a couple of shots and all of a sudden it's a different round of golf.

Q. What crowds are you anticipating over the weekend?
IAN POULTER: I haven't got the numbers. They haven't told me the numbers. But I mean, the way the weather forecast is right now, I would think we are going to have some big numbers. The tournament is back. That's something which these guys coming out in the numbers certainly today on a Thursday. Albeit, Sky Sports gave the tickets out, that's still pretty impressive to get 15,000 plus guys out here on a Thursday. You would think more over the weekend.

Q. Lots of different levels for you, it's good to have that atmosphere out there, isn't it?
IAN POULTER: It was lovely. The buzz last night, I didn't know what to expect coming into the week. This is a first. It's going to be a first for Luke and Justin and obviously me. They are going to feel the same. Big responsibilities, lots of things to do, lots of commitments. You have to manage those, but you can have the buzz on that first tee because you've spent a bit of time. You care about it. The Tour has done a great job and Sky Sports has done a great job. It's good that we have got this back on the calendar.

Q. Did it surprise you how nervous you were?
IAN POULTER: It did, yeah. I haven't had that feeling in a long time.

Q. When did it start? Was it last night? This morning?
IAN POULTER: It literally was two minutes before teeing off. It's just like, all right, okay. Just an easy 3-wood up the middle. I've really got to concentrate now because I need to. The fairway just shrinks a lot and that's good. It makes you focus. It's nice to get that feeling, especially on a Thursday.

Q. Saying that, how many times have you played this course, do you know?
IAN POULTER: I have got no idea. It would be a lot. I'm comfortable on the golf course. I know the lines. The second tee is a new one. Moving that forward is -- I mean, it's catching quite a few guys out there because of the bunkering situation. That bunker on the right is there for a par-5. All of a sudden your eye line is just a little off. That's going to catch a few people out this week.

Q. A little bit chilly when you started. A round of 68?
IAN POULTER: It was a nice opening few holes, obviously birdieing 10 and 12. There was -- even as early as we started, we had great crowds. It's impressive to see that on a Thursday. Obviously a lot of these guys have taken time out of work to come and watch us play golf. The sun came out for everyone and made it very special day.

Q. Were there a few nerves on the first hole this morning knowing how big this tournament is being promoted as?
IAN POULTER: Yeah, I got a nice tingle, shall we say. It hasn't been there for a long time on a Thursday in a regular tournament. To have that was really nice, to be honest. It's unusual when you get that feeling, but it was a good one and obviously nice to get off to a decent start.

Q. You must be really proud as well. This is your home golf club. The whole arrangement this week, the way the infrastructure is set up is absolutely second to none. You must be pleased and very proud how things have gone?
IAN POULTER: I'm very proud. There's a lot of work gone on behind the scenes. I done a tiny bit in the summer. From that moment on obviously Sky Sports and European Tour took over and turned this into an incredible facility. The green staff, that golf course took quite a bit of water over the last few days. John Clark and his team have done an incredible job. Ninety guys that have got this place looking first class.

Q. With it such a big tournament with big crowds, are you able to enjoy it out there or are you so focused on doing well this week?
IAN POULTER: I love it. You have got 15,000 guys out there that all want you to play well. Friends and family have been out there, faces I haven't seen for a while. Great support and hopefully we're going to get that on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well..

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