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October 31, 2004

Ian Poulter


GORDON SIMPSON: Ian, congratulations. You left it very late in the season but you are now the Volvo Masters Andalucia Champion. And one out of ten now becomes what?

IAN POULTER: Probably five.

GORDON SIMPSON: It certainly is a nice way to round off an interesting autumn for you.

IAN POULTER: Yeah, it was unbelievable, really, to come here this week and feel I have to go out there and win. I haven't felt as if I was playing that great coming into the start of this week, but funny things happen. I felt good last week. I felt I hit quite a lot of good golf shots out in America last week and I couldn't putt, I knew coming out here this week the greens are absolutely pure as they are every year. So I was quite looking forward to getting out on the greens and trying to roll some putts in them. That's what I did today at the right time and thankfully it's all come good.

GORDON SIMPSON: Did 8, 9 and 10 make the big difference today going three, three, three?

IAN POULTER: That really helped. I 3-putted 11 which was just stupid, really which would have been really nice to birdie four in a row, would have been, you know, quite a dent to some of the other guys out there, seeing that happen.

But, you know, golf's a funny game. You can 3-putt any stage and then obviously, I hit a poor shot into 13. I only had 9-iron in my hand and missed the green left and didn't get up-and-down.

Obviously it's a tough finish but I held it together.

Q. Is five a serious assessment or would you actually put it higher than that?

IAN POULTER: Oh, I might go a bit above that. But it wasn't looking good. I didn't feel as if I should be satisfied with how my year had panned out, really. I had played okay. In fact, I played pretty well but had not managed to sort of finish anything off. It's a sweet end to the year to actually come out, especially this week, Volvo Masters and cap it with a win; it turns it from an average year to quite a nice year.

Q. Seven? Eight?

IAN POULTER: Seven max.

Q. Second shot at 17?

IAN POULTER: I've done it all week. 3-iron, straight right, done it all week. I don't know what it is with that golf hole. I seem to hit decent tee shots off there, but when it comes to pretty much the easiest shot of the three shots you're going to play, by putting it into the big part of that fairway, and the fairway is only 40, 50 yards wide. I keep hitting it straight right. I might have a little chat with myself out there next year.

Q. But it was a good five.

IAN POULTER: A great five.

Q. It's a tough third shot?

IAN POULTER: It's horrible. Absolutely horrible. I'm not hitting out in that bank anymore. I've done that twice this week and it is just a nightmare shot.

Q. How long of a shot was it, the third one?

IAN POULTER: It's like 70 yards all in.

Q. Back to this one-to-ten thing. You stop at seven because you believe you're capable of what?

IAN POULTER: I believe I'm capable of winning two, three, four, five times in a year. The way I can play, the way I have played this year and not finish tournaments off, I felt as if, you know I should have won at least three times this year. And that's, you know, I'm hard on myself and that's the only way I guess you can keep moving forward. I mean, just I'm not satisfied with finishing second and third. I don't like losing. I'm a bad loser and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Q. Could you take us through the putts on those three birdie holes?

IAN POULTER: It was a pitching wedge into 8 to 15 foot.

It was a pitching wedge into 9 to 20 feet.

And it was a 7-iron to 35 feet and a 3-putt on the next from 30 feet.

Q. Do you still want to play in America?

IAN POULTER: I've got an opportunity to go out there and play. I think the European Tour will always be my home. I've loved my golf over here. I'm a very happy player here. I will always play my quota, if not more than my quota of events. But, you know, I do think that I do have to play a few events in America which do hold a few more World Ranking points than maybe a few of the ones in Europe. That's key to me moving higher in the World Rankings, and that's what it's all about, being able to give yourself the opportunity to get into the Top-20, the Top-10 and hopefully higher.

So, I feel it's necessary to actually take a few of those opportunities.

Q. How many will you play and will you have the same attitude when you go over there about winning?

IAN POULTER: I'll definitely have the same attitude over there. I think I can win over there just like I've won over here. There's no real difference, I feel, of the field quality. So there's no reason why I can't go over there and win as many times. I will probably -- I will play 15 over there, I would think. I haven't even looked at the schedule. I couldn't even tell you. I've been trying to concentrate on this week.

Q. You'll play 15?

IAN POULTER: I'll play my 15 and I'll play at least my 11 over here. So I feel that I will give myself the right opportunity to play the big World Ranking tournaments and that's what it's all about. It's not playing for money anymore; it's actually going out there to play for World Ranking points.

Q. Has the Ryder Cup given you that extra confidence that you can reach these heights?

IAN POULTER: I think it definitely helps with the nerves. If you can go out and play well in the Ryder Cup under that kind of pressure, especially coming down the back nine in tournaments like the Volvo Masters, it helps to keep you -- keep your cool.

Yeah, the Ryder Cup was a massive boost. It was great to get in, it was great to win and it was great to win the way we did and it was actually nice to get a point in the singles on Sunday, as well.

Q. Freddie Jacobsen last year won and for whatever reason didn't defend. Assuming you qualify and you're healthy, would it be your intention to come back?

IAN POULTER: I'll definitely play next year. I don't have any reason not to come back and play. I love the golf course. It's a great tournament and I've played well around this golf course. So I'll definitely be back.

Q. The emotions you went through on the tee in the playoff, when you pulled out driver when Sergio hit his right, what did you feel nervous?

IAN POULTER: No, I hit the driver on the line I wanted to hit it. I stood there and I was not nervous in any way, shape or form. There's no reason to be nervous. It's just match-play now.

I hit a good tee shot and it's just the adrenaline was pumping. I hit it 30 yards past where I thought it was going to finish and therefore it's actually underneath the tree. Then Sergio obviously did not hit the best of tee shots out to the right and left himself a really tricky second shot, seeing where he hit his second shot to, it sort of took a bit of pressure off and I just had to try to get it on the putting surface or very close by. He was always going to be struggling to make four from under the tree left.

GORDON SIMPSON: What did you punch in there?

IAN POULTER: 7-iron.

Q. You're talking about improving your World Ranking standing but now you've won the Volvo Masters and you've played the Ryder Cup and some regular Tour events; how close do you think you are to winning a major?

IAN POULTER: I don't think I'm far off at all. My swing is getting better. My confidence is definitely there. And I do like playing under pressure. I feel very happy to go out there and play under pressure. That's what it's all about in these tournaments. You know, I rate this golf course very high. It's very, very difficult. Level par always finishes in the Top-10 in this tournament and that says to me that it's set up difficult and you're just going to have to go out there and play well. I think I can play well if I can plan my season around all of the majors.

Q. Talking about nerves, did you notice that Alastair was nervous over those first two bogeys?

IAN POULTER: I don't know, he didn't hit that bad of a tee shot off the first. It wasn't lying great, and then it's a difficult shot for him in that rough off the first. And then he's hit a good drive off 2, just clipped the tree, comes up short and he chips it onto 6 and missed it. I don't know if he was nervous, but yeah, it's just so easy to make a bogey out there. As I said you can be in the middle of the fairway, have 100 yards to go and it's so easy to make bogey or double.

GORDON SIMPSON: Thank you very much. Well done, Ian. Well played.

End of FastScripts.

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