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June 15, 2018

Ian Poulter

Southampton, New York

THE MODERATOR: Ian Poulter is next on Flash. Ian is plus 1 for the Championship and was plus 2 for the day today.

Q. Ian, the shot in the bunker on 8, any options there? What was the --
IAN POULTER: Yeah, I mean, I think I got lucky with the lie I had, to be honest with you. I was expecting it to plug. I know there's quite a bit of sand in that trap over there. I saw that in practice. So I got lucky with the lie.

No problem -- you know, really a poor bunker shot should have been 20 feet. A really poor bunker shot. A really, really poor bunker shot to about 30 yards is really poor.

So, obviously, I was trying to hit the perfect bunker shot. I was trying to nip it clean. I was trying to land it, you know, half a yard over the crest to get it to check out. A good bunker shot, I felt like I could hit it to about four or five feet.

I didn't commit to the shot I wanted to play, and that's the only disappointing thing, really, about the mistake I made.

Q. Was the challenge really to try not to let one really bad hole screw up an otherwise wonderful round of golf?
IAN POULTER: Well, yeah. I mean, it's easy to talk about it and dwell on it and kind of chew it over. When you're out of position on this golf course and, you know, you're trying not to make another mistake and another mistake and you kind of are, you know, it just looks really stupid. So, yes, I felt stupid knifing the first one. I felt even more stupid semi-chunking the next one, and I didn't do much better on the next one either.

So maybe it makes a few people happy out there that, you know, we kind of mess up just as good as, you know, everyone else. We're human, right? We make a mistake. I think the best outcome for me is to put it out of my mind, to look upon, you know, the position I'm in for this weekend. I'm T-4. I feel pretty confident about my game, where my game is. I just need to make sure I don't make any silly little mistakes.

Q. The fact that Dustin has some distance between himself and the rest of the field, a lot of the guys here have said disaster's around the corner for him as well as anybody else. So do you feel, when you look at it that way, that you still, you know, have a good shot with two rounds left?
IAN POULTER: I'm 1 over par in a U.S. Open. I'm not sure how else to look at it. There's only a couple of U.S. Opens that, if someone offered you that on a Wednesday, where you perhaps wouldn't take it. Right? So I think, you know, I'm right in it. I'm T-4.

There's a disaster on every single hole. Yesterday, I think I saw a stat that every hole was double bogeyed. A thousand over par from 150 something guys. I mean, you know, the stats don't lie. U.S. Open golf, and especially this golf course, is extremely tricky.

So I'm in the hunt. I'm happy. I'll go and rectify a couple of those poor 7 irons I hit in a minute, and we'll have a nice dinner.

Q. Is there something about this course that stands out that you like? It's an event you've never really probably had your best days on.
IAN POULTER: I've hated it for 14 years, I'm going to be honest. I came in my first U.S. Open, and I wanted to enjoy it, and I hated it. I hated a lot of U.S. Opens through the years, to be honest, because I've gone home early and I haven't had the finish that I would have liked.

So, you know, coming in this week, feeling good about my game, feeling good about the course, I kind of love it, even though I finished triple bogey, bogey, I love the challenge. I like -- I actually like the setup this week. I think it's very good. So hat's off to USGA for setting it up the way they have.

So, you know, I hated it and I love it.

Q. Why did you hate it?
IAN POULTER: Why did I hate Shinnecock?

Q. Or the U.S. Open in general.
IAN POULTER: Say again?

Q. Or the U.S. Open in general, but specifically this golf course.
IAN POULTER: Well, I came here for my first Open and I left early. I packed my bags and went home on a Friday night, which is not very enjoyable when you've worked for, you know, a few decades to try and make one and you do make one and you go home early. It's miserable. So, you know, I haven't been back to this place since. I haven't needed to.

But obviously, glad that, you know, my golf's got me in a position to come back and play this week. Being at home sitting on the sofa watching the U.S. Open the last couple years has been kind of frustrating. So that's why I've got the attitude this week of a little bit carefree, go out, play golf, try and enjoy it.

It's a great golf course. It punishes poor shots, like I proved, and, you know, good shots get rewarded. So I've got to focus on those good shots, continue to do that this weekend.

Q. Ian, how conscious were you of the change in the weather and the chance to make some up this afternoon?
IAN POULTER: Yeah, we got away with one today and yesterday, to be honest. Someone's probably going to run the numbers and tell us how many guys on the other side of the draw are kind of in position.

So I definitely got the best of the weather. I mean, look at it right now. When I was cooking eggs this morning and bacon, I looked out the window, and it was miserable. So, look, I've had my fair share of the other side of the draw as well.

So, yeah, it's a tough one to take when you are on the other side. But you know what? I wasn't, and I'm going to enjoy this, being on the right side of the draw.

Q. (No microphone) tournaments throughout the United States. Going out there, there are a lot of fans that are really behind you.
IAN POULTER: There's still one or two. For the most part, it's great. We're in New York. What else do you expect? Guys are loud. They've been out all day. They've had a few Beers, and they've been great. The fans have been great. I've got a lot of fans in this area now, and they've come out to follow, and it's been good. I mean, I've really enjoyed it.

Q. How about the bunker shot on 6? It was not an easy shot.
IAN POULTER: It was a little better than the one on 8. But, yeah, that was tricky. I was standing outside the trap. The ball was well below my feet. It was half out the plug lie, and I executed that pretty good.

Q. Did you make your own eggs and bacon for breakfast?
IAN POULTER: Yeah, I rate myself as an okay cook so, you know, some scrambled egg and bacon is not that difficult. Thanks, guys.

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