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March 27, 2019

Ian Poulter

Austin, Texas

Q. Quite a match. Just comment on how the day went with Kevin.
IAN POULTER: Yeah, it was a fun match. Up, down, up, all square with a couple to go was interesting. When you're 2-up with 4 to play, you hit a great shot in there to about five feet and Kevin had a putt from about 15, 17 feet. You've always got to expect him to hole it, which he did. But I wasn't expecting to miss my 5-footer there. So that was a bit of a shame.

And then I hit driver, driver on 16 which I'd like to do the hole over. It doesn't matter now. It kind of got up on to the green and it just trickled off and obviously he holes out from 70 yards, he goes square, and it's really match on from a position where I kind of had control of it. And big putt there at 17 to leave myself just under the hole to give myself a right-to-left putt was a good one. I holed it, and obviously up and down from the last.

Q. (Inaudible).
IAN POULTER: You've got to break that cycle for him. He's feeling on top of the world right there and he's hit a decent shot into 17 to about 15 feet, but somehow you've got to hit it inside him. You've got to put him under pressure. And with him missing his putt, rolling that in, that was enough to obviously break it. And he didn't make birdie on the last. So I managed to roll that in.

Q. (Inaudible).
IAN POULTER: Yeah, of course. 8 and 6 last year was probably my heaviest defeat in match play. Mindset wasn't quite the same going out today as it was last year, with good information and then poor information coming just before you tee off doesn't put you in a good mindset. So I was pretty focused this morning.

I know the level of importance of winning match 1. I don't think many guys have come out of losing -- if there's not many, there might be ten guys that have come out of that group of losing a first match, right? So there was importance this morning to come out strong and to be a tough guy to beat. So I did my job today.

Q. Talk about 17.
IAN POULTER: It wasn't enjoyable, because it was supposed to be off to the left. And I wanted to pitch it 150, 9-iron flies 150. I didn't feel it go down. And you cannot hit it past that pin. You hit it past the pin, you're in some big trouble. So then I felt 9-iron wouldn't be enough to carry the bunker. I did the right thing - I stayed patient, I waited for the wind to do what it should have done and played it straight off to the left and hit a good shot.

Q. Is it true you (inaudible).
IAN POULTER: I did, yeah. He was standing in on the first tee in Augusta on Sunday, as I was going to the 10th tee and obviously I went to say hello to the member he was playing with and obviously him. And I just asked him, I said, "When are you off to Austin?" And he said, "Monday morning, 9:00." I said, "That's funny, I'm leaving at the same time." So instead of taking two planes, it's more efficient to take one. So I hopped on his plane. And he asked me a question, "Why are you so good at match play?" So we kind of had a chat about it for a minute. And then the group pairings come out and he's in the group. So we had a laugh about it this morning. So hopefully I didn't give away too many secrets.

Q. What did you tell him?
IAN POULTER: I tried not to answer it, to be honest (laughter). And he sort of laughed. "You don't have to be humble, you're sitting in this little cabin with the three of us, you can tell me." So he really hasn't played match play a lot and he just said it's going to be new for him, and how does he play match play. And I basically said, you'll figure it out.

Glad I didn't give him too much info. He's a great player. He's in good form. I don't think he won his match today. I'm not sure how that exactly finished. He's coming off a bit of form obviously winning down at Honda.

Q. Give him a firsthand lesson tomorrow?
IAN POULTER: Look, match play is match play, right? You can make eight birdies and lose. It's about trying to get a hold of your match and obviously staying strong.

Q. I saw Kevin is in your group?
IAN POULTER: Well, obviously you saw the way it went down and then obviously my first match this year, he's facing the same guy. So he knew I wasn't going to be the same as last year, and I tried to be as strong as I could today and not make any silly mistakes. And I did that bit very well.

Q. (Inaudible).
IAN POULTER: Good young man. Great swinger of the golf club. Someone who's been on quite a bit of form in the middle back end of last year and obviously into this year. And, yeah, he's a great player. And potentially he should have done more earlier in his career but he's had a little lull, but he's come back. He's fixed what he needed to fix and he's a much better player for that.

Q. (Inaudible).
IAN POULTER: Just grit and determination, I think, more than anything else. Hard work is what I've always done. But knuckling down, cleaning up some noise behind the scenes and really focusing on the simple stuff, and that's my game, my family and just being happy. And I am and obviously I'm playing some nice golf.

Q. (Inaudible.)
IAN POULTER: You obviously know there's a problem if your playing partner doesn't feel very comfortable or he apologized and said he's embarrassed for the local support at TPC, and he apologized. So when it gets to that level that your playing partner has to apologize for fans, then obviously clearly there's a few that stepped over the line.

For the most part the fans are amazing. When you've got 25 to 30,000 fans that follow an event, you've always got a few that unfortunately have a couple too many beers, that are there with a group of guys, and obviously they get a bit of guts, courage and one spurs on another one. So it's a shame in this day and age where people get great satisfaction from trying to disturb or put off athletes. I wouldn't call myself an athlete, but anyway, I just did.

But it's disappointing is what it is, when you've got your family and your children in the crowd and a 17-year-old, 14-year-old, 10-year-old and 7-year-old and they're listening to people verbally abusing their dad. It's not a nice thing for a kid to hear. It can be potentially damaging to them to hear that level of stuff. It upsets them. And it's not right.

So the Tour, I mean, I'm sure they're trying to address that situation. It's a shame it happens but unfortunately it does and hopefully we can stamp it out.

Q. (Inaudible).
IAN POULTER: Well, if I was, I'd practically done the (inaudible) move, but that would have gotten me suspended, that wouldn't be any good. You have to rise above it, don't you, or try to and it's difficult when your family are right there listening to people shout and abuse you. It's difficult.

Q. Did they say anything about what they heard?
IAN POULTER: Didn't need to. They heard it and I heard it and they were a lot closer to it than I was because they were behind the ropes.

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