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October 26, 2005

Ian Poulter


GORDON SIMPSON: Well, Ian, I think you've won a tournament each of the last five years. You left it late last time, what are the prospects of a repeat?

IAN POULTER: The way I'm feeling right now, very, very good. I love the golf course, always loved Valderrama. My game is pretty much in shape. I'm putting it very nice, and you have to do that around this golf course. You have to hit good golf shots and you do have to putt very, very well because the greens are fast, and slopey.

GORDON SIMPSON: Is that the most satisfying victory of the sixth to date?

IAN POULTER: Definitely. Especially on this type of golf course, you can't afford to miss hit too many shots and get away with winning the golf tournament. This is one which you do have to hit a lot of good golf shots and hole a lot of good putts, so I'm very pleased.

Q. How many more events do you have this year?

IAN POULTER: One more, HSBC, China.

Q. That's next year.

IAN POULTER: You're right.

Q. Looking at World Ranking and the importance of

IAN POULTER: I know my whole situation, don't worry. I'm fully aware, fully aware of where I am. I'm in a very similar situation to last year. I was 22nd on the Order of Merit this week last week, and I'm 21st this week, and I'm actually feeling better this week than I was last year.

Q. What was your World Ranking last year coming into this? Were you outside the Top 50?

IAN POULTER: I don't know. I think I was just out outside the top that's last year. I'm talking about this year. I know where I'm at this year. That's past.

Q. After you won last year you said you would give yourself one out of ten for the year, what's the mark this year?

IAN POULTER: Not registered yet. Unregistered. Very dissatisfied.

Q. A work in progress?


Q. And what has not quite clicked?

IAN POULTER: I've had a very difficult year. I don't want to bore you guys too much of all the ins and outs. I've gone across to America to play a few tournaments, and some of those tournaments are in some places which, you know, that they are long flights. And should I have played that many across there? I'm not sure. I gave it a good go.

I don't think I started off this year as good as I should have done. I spent quite a bit of time at home last Christmas, where possibly, possibly I could have been away practicing pretty hard. But because obviously I was going away for such a long period of time, I thought, you know, I'll be at home and enjoy myself over the Christmas time with Katie and the kids, which is great. But obviously the deep end of playing a few events in a row on the PGA TOUR with a week's practice is difficult. I missed six of the first seven cuts I think, so I struggled there.

And having two houses being built, you know, you do learn by your mistakes. I got way too involved with two houses, and you know, if I do it again, when I do it again, I'll do it very, very differently. I'll take a back seat instead of the front seat and calling all of the shots, because, you know, it's a huge investment. It takes a lot of your time. It takes a lot of your mental strength to deal with big, big decisions like that, and especially when both houses are a year late, they kind of drag on into a season, which really, really shouldn't have.

I'm not making excuses for any bad performance or anything. I'll just learn by my mistakes. That, I felt, was a big mistake and I want to do things a bit differently.

Q. Are the houses finished now?

IAN POULTER: They are finished, thank God.

Q. Can you give us a day when you said you had a problem with a plumber in Milton Keynes and something in Florida?

IAN POULTER: I'll give an example. I was doing the final transaction on the house, 5:00 in the morning of the Match Play (Accenture) this year.

GORDON SIMPSON: Which house?

IAN POULTER: Of the U.K. house. I was spending an awful lot of money, so much when I was writing it down when you have to spell it and not writing in numbers at 5:00 in the morning.

Q. From San Diego?

IAN POULTER: From San Diego, to back home, because, you know, the time difference, and eight hours in front; and that's three o'clock in the afternoon and I have to get it in before four o'clock that night. That was the morning of the first round.

Q. You did well that week?

IAN POULTER: How I've done that, I don't know, because it was probably the fear fright on sight of that money, I had to go win some, but it's been ongoing since then. I've had numerous, numerous things. You know, I don't want to list them all, and that's for me to deal with, really, but it's been difficult.

All I want to say is it's been very, very difficult to cope with, you know, huge outlays of which, you know, they take a lot of your time and effort and they drain you. Without realizing it at the time, I think it possibly affected my golf, and hence, while I so want to have a good finish to this year, like I did last year, let's hope I saved the best till last, get back in the Top 50 by the end of the year, and I can't wait for ten weeks off. There's a lot of stuff I will be doing in that ten weeks which I have never done before.

Q. Such as?

IAN POULTER: Practice. Practice being in my house at Orlando where, you know, I would loved to have done that last year, but the situation was slightly different. We're going to spend a lot of time there leading up to Christmas, probably three or four weeks. I'm going to go through a pretty hefty routine of up at six o'clock in the morning in the gym for a couple of hours and then hit balls for three hours and get my day done by lunchtime so I can enjoy the time at home can Katie and the kids. So I can sort of do the best of both worlds, really, by having some time off, but do it over there where I can get some work done as well.

Q. How will you approach scheduling next year given what you've just said?

IAN POULTER: I'm not going to play the few West Coast ones I did this year. I will start Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Dubai, Johnnie Walker. That's the start.

Q. Will you still play in the States?

IAN POULTER: I'll still play a fair bit. I will probably play 15, 16, because I've missed the ones at the start which I played this year, Hawaii, Torrey Pines, Bob Hope, etc. I will miss those ones out to spend more time getting fit and ready for the season. I wasn't fit and ready for an awful lot of travel and hassle.

Q. The importance for you, aside of this tournament and the importance for you, who is your money on, Monty or Campbell, and why?

IAN POULTER: Not interested in the two to be honest.

Q. Can you elaborate?

IAN POULTER: Elaborate? That's not my goal, is it. My goal this week is 100% focused on me. I'm not bothered either way who wins the Order of Merit, put it this way. There's two guys at it. Good luck to the pair of them. I wouldn't want to put money on one or the other.

Q. You said at the British Open this year, in a fiery press conference we thought at the time, when you said you should be winning events like that. Obviously the problems you had this year got in the way of that, but do you think with the problems out of the way, do you think you can win?

IAN POULTER: I can win. I need to focus 100% and stop having sidetracks here and there and phones ringing. I've love to call my phone bill; the phone always rings for bits and pieces, turn it off. I think it's taken me a few years to try and get it to sink in, turn the phone off when you're working and just do your work. And hence, while I'm really looking forward I'm looking forward to this week, but I'm looking forward to coming out next year with some great goals and some great targets to go for.

Q. Do you have a blossoming career as a model? Are you going to shelve all of that?

IAN POULTER: What's that? No. (Laughter).

Q. Are you involved in that side of it, pushing it as hard as you can, exposure, fashion?

IAN POULTER: I think that will just happen anyway. I've got to do it on the golf course, and I have done it on the golf course. What I wear on the golf course and that kind of thing, that takes a snip at a time. If you let somebody else do that for you, you just go out there and perform in whatever you're wearing.

Q. Majors or Ryder Cup, what's the focus or the next 12 months?

IAN POULTER: Well, majors. Because the Ryder Cup is after all of the majors.

Q. But if you could have one or the other?

IAN POULTER: One or the other? Well, I'll say majors, because if I win a major, I'll be in the Ryder Cup.

Q. How important is it to you to play in the Ryder Cup?

IAN POULTER: Massive. After the last one, everything.

You can't even put it into words. It's just such a good week, to be able to go out there on that platform and play against America on the main stage. It doesn't get any bigger. The hype and everything, it's just such a great buzz. I can't wait. I will be there, for sure. With the practice I'm going to be doing in Orlando for perhaps six, seven weeks in total before I start at the start of the year, I can only come out fitter, stronger, hitting the ball better than I have done in the past. So I will be there at The K Club and I can't wait for it.

Q. Did you learn stuff about yourself

IAN POULTER: At the Ryder Cup?

Q. at Oakland Hills?

IAN POULTER: Yeah, I thought it was you are put under immense pressure. You do get a hundred thoughts going through your mind, and it's just how you control those thoughts. We're all world class golfers that play in the Ryder Cup, and some people can control that better than others.

It was nice to find out exactly what kind of pressure really is. Winning the golf tournament is, you're under pressure, but when you're standing up there and you've got to hole a 10 or 12 foot putt, not only for yourself, but for your team, your captain, and then everyone in Europe watching, it's a little bit different.

Q. Good thing it happened this year and not next year?

IAN POULTER: I'm happy it's out of the way. I mean, it just has eaten too much time away, really, too much time and hard effort to try and get things right and hopefully I can, as I say, learn by it and just move forward, keep going forward. I've moved backwards this year. If I win this week, I'll have moved forward again.

So all is not lost, 58 in the world, 58 in the world with a season sitting on an airplane a lot longer than what I have ever done in the past. Yes, I'm massively disappointed, but it hasn't been horrific. I have had a couple of results. I should have finished higher than 11th at the Open this year, which was my best finish, which still I wasn't satisfied with.

So in a month there has been some signs of good golf and signs that I can go out there and win golf tournaments, so let's go out there this week and win this golf tournament.


End of FastScripts.

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