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November 19, 2015

Ian Poulter

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

SARAH GWYNN: Ian, well played today. 6-under 66. Give us the highlights, if you wouldn't mind.

IAN POULTER: Sure. Nice start to the week. Took care of the par 4s and the par 3s. Just didn't really take care of the par 5s. Missed a 15-footer on 2, the par 5. Missed a 4-footer for birdie on 7. Missed a 15-footer on the last. And the others were birdie opportunities which I would expect to hole. Most of those putts are inside ten feet. 17 greens in regulation. Two missed fairways. So that's pretty solid stuff.

Q. We tend to focus on the top of The Race to Dubai, but for people like yourself, there's a hell of a lot at stake, isn't it.
IAN POULTER: There's a lot at stake. I think more of it is probably pride than anything else. Dropping outside the Top-50 isn't very nice. Being down list on the Order of Merit is not very nice. And wanting to put some points on the board for Ryder Cup would definitely be very helpful. So it's been a long five weeks, and it would be nice to obviously finish strong.

Q. Is this it? Have you got anything else after this?
IAN POULTER: Yeah, ten weeks off.

Q. So you really want to nail down that Top-50, would be a pretty good way to finish.
IAN POULTER: I'm not worried about the Top-50 anymore. It would be nice, obviously, to finish real strong. But right now, obviously main importance is finish this week strong and recover and obviously get some rest and come out strong when I'm going to start the season next year.

Q. Why aren't you worried?
IAN POULTER: I'm not worried anymore. I'm in the Masters anyway. So it doesn't -- I'm just not worried about it. I just think if I play golf -- I mean, I play golf exceptionally well hitting as many greens as I did a couple weeks ago, 61 out of 72 greens.

I'm playing well. I'm just not converting all of the chances that I would expect to convert. So when I do that, I'm going to find myself with a trophy in my hand and that takes care of itself.

I would like to end the year on a win. I haven't done it for a couple of seasons. So there's a long way to go, but yeah, if I keep doing what I'm doing right now, I think I need to not think about World Rankings anymore.

Q. Are you juggling between putters?
IAN POULTER: The one that's been in the bag has been there for a few months. I mean, I don't generally change putters too often. This one feels pretty good. Just need to hole a few more.

Q. After all the adventures going to Hong Kong, and the rules changes, you must be pleased when it announced, the change in the membership rules.
IAN POULTER: To five? Yeah, I think it's a sensible thing to do. When you look at a few players that are around the 50 mark, that do play two tours, it would make it very difficult for them to be able to commit properly. And you don't want those guys not playing.

So to make it five outside the WGCs and the majors is a good move. You are still probably going to get guys playing 13 events that are inside the Top-50. So it's a smart move.

And then you're probably going to entice a few Americans to play, as well; five tournaments, when a few of the guys already play The Scottish Open the week before. They just need to play the back-end-of-the-year schedule, and they have got their five tournaments in. So if anything, it's going to strengthen things.

Q. When you have such a nice round as you had today, and you still do not convert on the par 5s, does it leave you a bit frustrated at the end of the round?
IAN POULTER: Sure. Yeah. I'm happy but I'm still frustrated. I really could have -- it could have been a much better round of golf. I know that.

But my score is done. Let's look forward to tomorrow. Keep playing the golf that I'm playing. Get some treatment from the physio and come out strong tomorrow.

Q. Speaking of treatment, I saw something on Twitter about an injection in your foot. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
IAN POULTER: I had an impingement for three weeks. And I was kind of getting sick of taking painkillers. So I went and had a cortisone injection in the foot. That's why I didn't play on Tuesday. I played six holes in practice yesterday. I played 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 9. It's still a little sore this morning. Back's a little sore. Hand's a little sore. That's what you get when you play five weeks in a row.

Q. And when you turn 40 in January, I suppose --
IAN POULTER: It's all rolling around way too quickly. (Laughter).

Q. When you say "impingement," what do you mean by that?
IAN POULTER: Impingement in the ankle joint. So I might have a little bone spur coming off there, which is causing a little bit of irritation. So that just --

Q. Is that something you might get taken off?
IAN POULTER: I'll have an MRI when I get home. Just have a look at it. Hopefully it's nothing too serious, just normal wear and tear. And hopefully it will just settle down with a little bit of rest.

Q. What was your reaction when you heard about Tiger and The Ryder Cup?
SARAH GWYNN: He's vice captain.

IAN POULTER: You've just told me. I don't read newspapers.

Q. He rang Davis Love on Sunday and said: I'd like to be vice captain. If I play my way in, fine. But if not, I want to be there. I want to help you.
IAN POULTER: Smart move.

Q. Smart?
IAN POULTER: Why wouldn't he want to be part of that team, whether it be playing or even vice captain. He's been a part of that team for so many years. Tiger's Tiger. He creates a buzz whether he's playing or not playing. So just his presence there would be a good thing for the team. So, smart move.

Q. You're his age, and you wouldn't say now I want to be a vice captain. That wouldn't even come into your mind?
IAN POULTER: No, it wouldn't, no.

Q. He seems to be giving up on his playing a bit early, doesn't he? That's one aspect of it.
IAN POULTER: I think his body has taken an awful lot of punishment over the last few years. He went back in for another back surgery, as we know. And that's obviously difficult. It's going to be difficult for him to come back from that. It's an early announcement but it's not a bad announcement.

Q. Can it give Davis's team a little bit of an edge? Inspire the team a little bit --
IAN POULTER: If he's not playing?

Q. Being vice captain. As a vice captain.
IAN POULTER: I'm not really sure a vice captain will give any team an edge. I mean, he's bringing a lot of experience, is what he is doing, and guys would respect what he's done in the game of golf. So to have him in the team room, would be a good thing for them.

You know, when we peg it up in Hazeltine, they would have held the trophy twice in 22 years.

SARAH GWYNN: We'll leave it there. Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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