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March 22, 2018

Ian Poulter

Austin, Texas

Q. An improved performance from yesterday. It looked like a tight tussle.
IAN POULTER: Yes, it was definitely an improved performance. I made many more birdies today than yesterday. Daniel is a tough cookie, I know that from watching Presidents Cup. He hates to lose. So I knew that going out today it was always going to be a tough match. He was never going to give me anything. He didn't, really. So I had to take the upper hand in that match, be confident. Step up and hit good shots when I needed to and hole key putts.

Pleased I got through this one. Obviously another win is great. And I hope to do the same tomorrow.

Q. Is this your favorite form of golf?
IAN POULTER: Yes, it's the purest form of golf. You are never out of the hole. I proved that on 17. Buried in the back trap, not looking good. Daniel obviously 2-down, two to play. Funny game match play, he probably feels that three is good enough, which it would have been, to advance out of the last. But it was a little tentative. I'm buried in the back trap, hit a decent shot, and then obviously holed a 5-footer there for bogey to finish the match out.

I feel comfortable in this format. I love it. It gets the adrenaline going early, and there's nothing better.

Q. I just wonder how it alters your psyche in a sense, compared if you were playing in Houston Open or whatever it might be, a stroke play event, when you step up for that mano-a-mano kind of contest?
IAN POULTER: There's no adrenaline running on Wednesday in any regular stroke play event. And there's not an awful lot of adrenaline going even on a Thursday. There is in this format. It's simple. You're playing the guy standing opposite you on the tee box. And you stare him down and you get to shake his hand and win your match. It doesn't get any more simple than that. It's great. It puts you under immense pressure. And I love feeling that type of buzz on the golf course.

Q. I get the sense with you, we keep asking you the Masters question, because that place in the Masters is at stake for you this week. A lot of players say I'm not going to think about that, that's next week. That's a consequence. But it strikes me you're almost using it as a tool in the same way as your PGA Tour card was on the line at THE PLAYERS Championship last year. It brings that extra little dimension of, I don't know, incentive, whatever it might be, is that a fair assessment?
IAN POULTER: Yes. There's a lot of motivation. 2018 is a Ryder Cup year. I know if I win several matches this week then I'm going to put myself in a rather nice position on that table. So when you think about an entire season to try and make that an obviously Augusta National, it really is straight in front of you. So bad to say you don't have to do a lot, but several matches. Now I'm down to five matches. So if I can win five matches then I'm going to be in good position on that list. I'm going to be in good position at the Masters. It changes everything for the season. It's easy to talk about that and get too far ahead of yourself, but that's what my goals are.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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