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February 23, 2005

Ian Poulter


SCOTT CROCKETT: Welcome to the Accenture Match Play. Sorry there's no golf for you today. How have you been filling in your time?

IAN POULTER: Obviously just practicing down at Taylor Made the other day, obviously because the course was so waterlogged. I played 16 holes yesterday, and it's very wet out there. I've just been sort of doing my practice, whether it be here or down at Taylor Made, under cover, really.

SCOTT CROCKETT: Last year you had a good year, quarter finalist. I remember talking to you last year, and you felt you should have won that match with Stephen Leaney.

IAN POULTER: I love the format. I think the golf course suits my game, and I'm really looking forward to going out there and finishing up like I did last year.

Q. Do you feel at home over here?

IAN POULTER: It's not home, no.

Q. I said do you feel at home?

IAN POULTER: I just see it as another golf venue, whether it be here or anywhere in the world. I'm playing golf in a golf tournament, so, yeah, I do feel comfortable over here. It doesn't really bother me that it's America or that it's Europe or Australia or wherever it may be. I'm just here to play golf and go out and try to win the golf tournament.

Q. Maybe you got a little bit more work done and accomplished at Taylor Made given the rain than you would otherwise. Since it's been rainy, did you spend time working there?

IAN POULTER: It's been good.

Q. Can you take a positive from that standpoint?

IAN POULTER: It's a positive. I've had an extra day, now, obviously today, to go and prepare myself for the first day tomorrow. I'm going to be back at Taylor Made this afternoon working on my game. And if it rains, it's a perfect situation down there where I can hit balls under cover and still get in a decent practice. Some of the guys, obviously, that don't go down and use that facility, they'll be practicing in the rain.

Q. What for you is the biggest adjustment being on this side of the pond?

IAN POULTER: I haven't seemed to ‑‑ I don't think I've had to make any real adjustments to be perfectly honest with you. I'm happy, I'm comfortable playing golf here. I don't see it being any issue. And there's nothing that I've really had to change to make myself fit in. I've played enough events in America now over the last few years with some of the majors and some of the tournaments I played last year, Bay Hill, TPC, et cetera, so as I said, it is another venue that I'm going to play a golf tournament.

Q. (Inaudible.)

IAN POULTER: Yeah, obviously, three misses is not very clever, one top‑10 finish. It's not the start I wanted. I know the reasons behind that. I've been very busy at home working on other projects right now, trying to get my houses finished. And that does take up a lot of time. It's not easy to do the two things and do them to the best of your abilities.

But that's part and parcel of moving on upwards, I guess. I need the facility at home to bring my game on even more, and it's a fine line between doing the two, making sure that it's right at home and making sure I'm practicing enough. I probably didn't hit as many balls as I'd like to through December, one ball would have been quite nice (laughter).

Yeah, so obviously the start of the year was a little bit rusty. I went out to Florida for one week's practice, down at Leadbetter's academy there, and I felt comfortable. I felt my game was close, obviously after I got into the year last year. And I didn't hole many putts in the first tournaments, hence the two missed cuts. And I go out the following week and play pretty similar, hole a few putts, and then I have a top‑10 finish.

My game is in shape; I think it's good enough to go out and win any tournament I play right now. I just do need to be 100 percent focused and concentrate.

Q. Did you spend a couple hours on the phone about your house this morning?


Q. Is that how you spent the morning?

IAN POULTER: That's how I spent the morning.

Q. Faldo and Woosnam, who would you like for the Ryder Cup captain?

IAN POULTER: Either I don't mind. I'm not going to choose one over another, because I think they're both great guys. I would say I think Woosnam would probably get it.

Q. Why is that?

IAN POULTER: That's who I fancy. There's no ‑‑ they both have ‑‑ I think it will be either‑or this year.

Q. Why do you think Woosnam will get it this year?

IAN POULTER: Why do I? I don't know. That's just my feeling. If I was a betting man, I'd put my money on Woosnam.

Q. Are you building a new house or remodeling your house?

IAN POULTER: I've had a new house built back home.

Q. Did you finish the one in Lake Nona?


Q. So you've got two?


Q. What house were you talking about this morning?


Q. Have you got a completion date for that?

IAN POULTER: Friday, hence why the phone calls this morning. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Q. What's left to do on either one of them? How close are they?

IAN POULTER: The UK house is just decoration, cleaning, et cetera, et cetera, just the last final touches. The American house is probably going to be May.

Q. Are you putting anything into those houses or gardens that will help your golf game?

IAN POULTER: Yes, the UK house will. Once I finally get my planning permission, I'll be having a practice ground built, a 200‑yard range with greens, bunkers, fairway, tee boxes. I'll have an indoor golf studio with cameras, an indoor putting green.

Q. What do you need Leadbetter for?

IAN POULTER: I can send him the tapes right from the practice facility. I'm going to invest some of my money I've earned over the last few years, and try to make sure when I do go home, it's an easier place to go and practice. What a great thing that would be back at home, to go in at 7:00 at night when it's pitch black, go out and hit balls for an hour in the indoor studio and work on my game, do some putting, et cetera. I feel if I've got the facility there, I can certainly, you know, practice more than what I practiced this December, if I'm at home. It's freezing cold outside, and half an hour hitting balls out there, your hands are pretty cold.

I'll be lucky to do some work if I'm home in December, and feel that I can start the year fresh, ready, and my swing's in shape, and not have to do a mad rush practice session the week before the first tournament, which some of the European guys do.

Q. Is it still in the same city, is it Milton Keynes or whatever?

IAN POULTER: It's not far from there. It's not far from Woburn.

Q. Planning committees can be fickle; are they giving you a hard time?

IAN POULTER: No, there shouldn't be any issues whatsoever.

Q. Just grass, right?

IAN POULTER: There would be just grass on there like there is now; it will be slightly more manicured, that's all. That's it, really. So it's just getting it to go ‑‑

Q. Sounds like you're going to have a lot of new friends that want to stop by in the winter and visit?

IAN POULTER: Probably be a few people around there I'm sure at times. It will be good.

Q. The Lake Nona home will not have anything golf‑wise?

IAN POULTER: Jump in the buggy and three minutes, I'm on the practice grounds. So that is as good as you can get, I think, for that. It's a perfect facility to be practicing golf all year round. The climate is superb.

Q. How much time are you going to spend at Lake Nona in the course of a year, three months or so?

IAN POULTER: Probably not that much. The weeks before The Masters, for instance, that's a great week, because they generally get the greens up to speed. They try to grow the rough up the week before the U.S. Open, so you can practice that kind of stuff. The weeks before I have my weeks off, that will be a whole week. But if I'm flying in, I'll fly in and change my suitcase. I'll be there a day or few days before I go to a venue. A couple of months, I would think.

Q. Really more like just your American hotel over here so you don't have to fly all the way home?

IAN POULTER: Yeah, just a base to go in and chill out a day or two before going to the tournament.

Q. How many tournaments have you scheduled or do you plan to play here, which ones ‑‑

IAN POULTER: 20‑ish.

Q. First half of the year, what have you set on through April?

IAN POULTER: I will play Ford next week, then go home to move house, hopefully. Bay Hill, TPC, week off, Masters. I'm not sure whether I'll play at MCI or not, I might play the following week and the following week.

Q. You're thinking of Houston and New Orleans?


Q. Will you play at the Tavistock thing?

IAN POULTER: Yes, I will play Tavistock, I might play Byron Nelson, but that's the same week as the British Masters, so I'm not for sure. I've got a rough schedule of what tournaments I want to play, and that figures around 20 right now.

Q. What will make you choose between Byron Nelson and the British Masters? If you do well the next few weeks, will you then ‑‑

IAN POULTER: I'll go back.

End of FastScripts.

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