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April 13, 2017

Ian Poulter

Hilton Head, South Carolina

IAN POULTER: I like this type of golf. It's fiddley, you can't hit driver off every tee. Positional play. And sometimes fairway is not good enough on some of these holes. I rolled a couple of putts in.

Q. You played under pressure before, major championship pressure, pressure to make a Ryder Cup team. How are you planning handling trying to earn this final $144,000 to make the Cup?
IAN POULTER: I'm not thinking about it, that's how I'm handling it. I just want to go out and play golf. Thinking about it is obviously not going to help. If I try and win this golf tournament and hit good golf shots, and connect to every single shot I play, then I would think I'm going to be good enough. So I have to do that. I have to clear my mind. I've got to put everything else away so I can concentrate on my golf.

Q. Luke Donald called Sergio Garcia's winning the Masters was inspiring.
IAN POULTER: Well, obviously for the two guys to play the golf they did was simply incredible coming down the stretch. You saw eagles, birdies, drop shots, the whole thing, bushes and all sorts of things. So obviously for Justin to miss out was a big shame for him. But he's got a major. So if you look at it that way and obviously seeing what it meant to Sergio to put that jacket on, he's a major champion, and he's always going to be one.

Q. Talk about your play today.
IAN POULTER: I scored very well, I hit a poor tee shot off the first hole and left myself way back, back under the trees. But from that moment on I hit a lot of good golf shots. I took advantage of a couple of putts, but there were a few sliding past.

So for me it was about staying patient with the golf course, which is tricky. There is never a very low scoring week in terms of guys going very deep on this course. It has a lot of protection because of the trees. And it's tricky. So if you do a good job putting it in play a lot you're going to be able to find yourself scoring.

Q. Talking about your putting.
IAN POULTER: It felt good. I put a lot of work on it this week. And it's one of the areas of the game that I felt let me down in the last 12 months. I'm just trying not looking to hole putts, I'm just literally working on my stroke. I know if I stroke it well I'm going to give myself plenty of looks.

Q. Health-wise, you're obviously a hundred percent?
IAN POULTER: I'm good. I'm ready good. I'm fit, I'm healthy. I'm bursting full of energy. And I just want to go out and play golf.

Q. And have a chance to take care of the medical thing this week, and you're off to a good start with it, do you think about that at all?
IAN POULTER: No, I'm not. I'm over thinking about it. And the fact of it is if I come here to play good golf to try and win this golf tournament, whatever else happens, happens. And for me to focus on committing to every single golf shot I'm going to play, simplifying everything in my life to be able to do that is a good thing. I think I've found some good things. And I feel comfortable.

Q. Lovely round, what's your assessment?
IAN POULTER: I'm very happy. Obviously not on the first tee. I hit a horrible pulled draw, could have been out of bounds, hit a tree. But from that moment on I hit good golf shots. I put it in play a lot. I gave myself plenty of looks. I holed a couple of nice putts around 25 feet. And had quite a few looks out there coming in. So I'm pretty happy.

Q. All of your game looked good today. How important is it for you finding form?
IAN POULTER: This is the thing that I've been struggling with over the last 18 months. And I've done a lot of good work on the putter. I've got a putting mat. I'm not really focusing on holing those putts. I'm actually focusing on the stroke, itself. I don't feel I've actually stroked it as good as I have been in the past. So just working on one of the putting mats visually trying to see the face rotate through impact instead of kind of holding off slightly.

If I see my line, make a good stroke, I'm going to hole a few putts.

Q. The stats from today are quite interesting. You rank second in iron play. The driving looks down, but it doesn't tell the whole story around here.
IAN POULTER: There's not a lot of rough on the golf course. There might be two inches of rough. You don't mind that number, as long as when you have missed the fairway it's on the right side, because there's 43 percent and on the run side it would have looked like 5 over par because you have to shape it out of the rough to get it on the green. So sometimes missing a fairway is not all that bad. And obviously from there I obviously hit a lot of greens in regulation because I was on the right side.

Q. Bearing in mind what you've achieved in terms of wins but how you've come to the fore in things like Ryder Cup. It seems like Ian Poulter would really relish that, is that how you look at it?
IAN POULTER: Where I stand with this is focus on my golf, No. 1. If I commit to every shot that I need to hit this week I think all that takes care of itself. I've come here to try to win this golf tournament. It's a golf course I like. It's fiddley. It's a good test with small greens. I'll be aggressive to my target, take everything else out of my mind, all of the nonsense that's going on and people asking questions, which they're going to, but keep it simple, go play golf. Be aggressive. Try and win this golf tournament and obviously that will take care of it.

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