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May 12, 2006

Ian Poulter


STEVEN FRANKLIN: Thanks, Ian, for coming in. 68 69, a nice solid start. What's your view?

IAN POULTER: Yes I played very very nice again. Kept putting the ball in play, and when you do that, you know, you're going to get a few chances. I kept hitting greens in regulation; that's what you've got to do out here. The greens are not very big, and when you do it just sort of ten feet you have to try and take the opportunity.

STEVEN FRANKLIN: Nice to be playing in Britain?

IAN POULTER: Lovely. It's nice to be home, seeing lots of friends and family.

STEVEN FRANKLIN: At top of the leaderboard and good galleries watching you.

IAN POULTER: Yeah, I've got a lot of friends out there and as you say there's been good crowds so far. I think they are enjoying the weather out which is quite nice. I am looking forward to the weekend.

STEVEN FRANKLIN: We'll do your card and then go through some questions. You picked up the birdie at 11.

IAN POULTER: I did. Hit a nice pitching wedge in there to about 18 inches. That one was not too difficult.

17, driver, 3 wood, just on the edge of the green, 50 foot putt, 2 putt birdie.

18, 3 putt, I had a 50 , 60 foot putt from the middle tier.

3, driver, 5 wood on to about 25 feet, 2 putt birdie.

5, 8 iron, probably 18 foot birdie.

6, bogey - hit it in the fairway bunker on the right. Caught it a bit too thin and straight through the back of the green, chipped back to 6ft and hit great putt that just stayed straight.

8, birdie from 18 feet just over the back of the hole. & iron,

Q. Do you feel you are due a win?

IAN POULTER: Yeah, about 18 months. I've been playing great. You go through these spells when you don't see the ball go in the hole, and it's kind of difficult to make sure you're winning all the time.

I'm just sticking to my game plan. I'm staying patient out on the golf course and that's probably key to everything at the minute, just staying patient and enjoying it.

Q. Does playing in States helping again to bring on your game?

IAN POULTER: It's another challenge. It's different. There's different fields out there, different golf courses.

It's nice to be home, that's what I will say. This is where I like playing golf. This is just down the road from my house and that makes a big difference. There's lots of different venues out in America and sometimes that's a challenge, different grasses, etc. I've been brought up on these type of golf courses, so I feel comfortable out here. Yeah, it is a challenge out there. It is strengthening really.

Q. What is more fun - Europe or America?

IAN POULTER: Well, they are both fun because you're playing golf. That is it at the end of the day, whether I'm playing in China, Australia, Spain, wherever I'm playing, I'm happy. I'm doing a job I love.

Q. Do the other players in America respond well to the Europeans over there?

IAN POULTER: There's an awful lot of foreigners over there now playing golf. I don't know if they will happy in the next few years if even more go over there. But, yeah, I've got some good friends over there, so they have taken to us sort of pretty good they are all nice guys.

Q. Good response from the crowds?

IAN POULTER: Very good, yeah, the galleries are fantastic. They are always quite happy to see someone bouncing down the fairway in something colorful.

Q. What did you think of your drive with Nigel Mansell?

IAN POULTER: Oh, it was fantastic. I never thought I would be driving a racing car with Nigel Mansell sitting to my left, It was awesome. What an experience, what an honour. He then showed me how really to drive.

Q. You seemed to be expressing a little impatience to the end of last year with the fact that you hadn't won. You seemed much more relaxed now?

IAN POULTER: Very chilled. It's not really any good, is it? I think I've learned that one now.

Q. You play great for 18 months and then have these spells where you can't see the ball going in the hole. When did you start again to see the ball go in the hole?

IAN POULTER: When I stopped getting so frustrated with it. You can't force the ball in the hole, and when you do you get frustrated you grip the putter a bit tighter and you're just too eager to get it in the hole.

When you do go out there and shoot 64 and 65 when you play great, you don't think about anything, you don't try to get it in the hole; it just happens. You just have to tell yourself that all the time because it's so easy to get frustrated and strangle the putter.

Q. When did it come to a head?

IAN POULTER: You know, it's just sort of an accumulation of weeks where you sit down and have to have a look at why am I missing these putts. Just talk about it I've been talking to my manager about it and he's asking me the questions. It's quite simple when you sit down and evaluate it what the reason is.

Q. Are you working with anyone?

IAN POULTER: No, just Paul.

Q. And the reason?

IAN POULTER: The reason for?

Q. Missing putts?

IAN POULTER: I'd rather like to know that one, because the way I'm hitting it, I'd be winning quite often.

I don't know. It's not physical. I think it's between the ears mainly. As I said I've been forcing it. You're just trying way too hard. I have been 3 putting, maybe it's because I've been rushing a few putts by, too eager to try to get it in the back of the hole.

It's definitely coming around. I'm definitely hitting a lot of good putts. I've hit some great putts last two days, a couple have just moved off line which is unfortunate, a couple lipped out, but I am holing a couple of nice 15 , 20 footers which is really nice. That's really encouraging.

Q. With September coming up, it's the right time to find it?

IAN POULTER: Just about right, isn't it? Three tournaments back in Europe and I'll play in America and come back for a nice five weeks after that. Yeah, it's nice. Got some great golf courses to play in the next few weeks. Looking forward to it.

Q. Did you keep the film of Tiger Woods' putting stroke that you had slowed down?

IAN POULTER: No. I've got it in the memory bank, though. I can visually see what I was watching in Scotty Cameron's studio.

Q. Do you think about Tiger's putting stroke when you are out there?

IAN POULTER: No. It's too hard to, thinking about somebody else while you're out there putting. You've just got to try and move that into your own putting stroke and just feel comfortable. That is probably the most important. I haven't felt that comfortable standing over a putt; I can't quite see the line, but certainly the last few weeks certainly I can stand over the ball and I can see the line going straight to the hole and that makes a massive difference.

Q. How painful was it to miss the Masters?

IAN POULTER: Not that painful to be honest. I had a week off at Disney with the missus and kids. I would have been there, don't get me wrong, I don't want to miss it. I can't change it now. I can't keep looking back going back, oh, God, that's so depressing. If I'm going to do that all my life, I'll be a nervous wreck, so I just have to keep looking forward, look forward to the next one.

But it was, it was disappointing. It's a tournament which I've enjoyed the last few years and I think with my short game, I've got a chance to win.

Q. Have you made any changes in your putting stroke over a year or so?

IAN POULTER: Not really. I've just been working hard last few weeks on making sure my pace is good when we go from different golf courses and the greens are a little bit quicker, or slower week to week, just making sure I'm spending enough time on the putting green to get the feel.

Q. Have you changed your putter?

IAN POULTER: I have changed. I have changed. It is exactly the same putter which hasn't been the old one was thinned out slightly. This one is just, you know, the original number of what it would be. It hasn't been thinned out. It hasn't been reshaped. It's just the same putter as I was using originally.

Q. Are you conscious of your position in the Ryder Cup race?

IAN POULTER: I couldn't tell you where I am on that list. I know what I need to do; win a couple of golf tournaments.

Q. Do you think you have made it more difficult for yourself by taking on a full US schedule?

IAN POULTER: Well, I'm not playing a full American schedule. I will play more European Tour events this year than I will PGA Tour events. So it's just probably that I've not publicised my whole schedule for the rest of the year. I am playing a lot of tournaments in Europe. I do feel that I need to play the 15 events, minimum, over in America, which I'm going to do. And by doing that, I'm going to pick the right tournaments where there are as many World Ranking points as I can to make sure if I'm not picking up money on The European Tour, I'm certainly going to try to pick up World Ranking points to give me a good chance on both lists.

Q. You seemed relaxed about it. When will that change?

IAN POULTER: When I'm really, really close.

Q. Are you actually commuting to The Belfry?

IAN POULTER: I am going to nip back this afternoon. I'm going to chill out on my sofa, maybe play a little snooker and I might go down to the practice round and hit some putts. The greens are running lovely. Just get way from here and I'll probably come back tonight. I think we're off early tomorrow with the football on, two o'clock finish tomorrow, is that right, 2:30? I'll make sure I'm back tomorrow. But it will be nice to go and spend an afternoon relaxing.

STEVEN FRANKLIN: Thanks very much, Ian.

End of FastScripts.

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