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September 28, 2006

Ian Poulter


SCOTT CROCKETT: Ian, thanks as always for coming in and joining us, 7 under par 64, needless to say very pleased with that. Just give us your thoughts on the opening day.

IAN POULTER: Yeah, very happy, really. You know, just wanted to try and get off to the start that I had a couple of weeks ago in Madrid, and obviously having a week off, and obviously Ryder Cup last week, it's hard to keep your focus and keep practise. But that's what I did well last week, focused on getting ready for this week. I've come out of the traps pretty hot today, and the putter was rolling just as it was in Madrid. I'm very, very happy.

SCOTT CROCKETT: Did you like the course when you first saw it? Obviously your score would suggest you did.

IAN POULTER: Yeah, I've played here a couple of times. I come up on Monday and played, and the greens are perfect. I think most of the guys, if they get it inside 15 feet will be fairly disappointed if they don't manage to roll it in.

You know, there's quite a few chances out there. Certainly the par 5s, I didn't really take much advantage of today, but I'm sure a couple did. That's where you're going to pick a lot of shots up.

Q. Did you actually drive the first?

IAN POULTER: I got it in the greenside bunker, yeah, the front right trap.

Q. Did you watch much of the Ryder Cup last week?

IAN POULTER: I watched a little bit of it. That was always going to be hard, to make sure I went out and done the right practise, but I did. I didn't sit there for 12 hours and become a couch potato for three days. I made sure I done my usual practise over Friday, Saturday, Sunday and then flipped on the telly to watch the guys do a great job.

Q. Did it give you an extra, I don't know, boost of motivation this week coming out here?

IAN POULTER: I don't think I needed any boost. I've been playing good all year, and I managed to do the right thing in Madrid and hole the right putts at the right time.

I just wanted to keep that going. I didn't feel as if I played any real better in Madrid than what I did the rest of the year; I just managed to roll the putter really well, and that makes a massive difference.

I was just keen to keep it the same as what I have been, keep my focus on driving the ball well, which I did great today, and if the putter was going to work like it did in Madrid, then on these greens I'm going to roll a few putts in. That's what I did today.

Q. Do you feel like you should have shot a lot more 64s from before the PGA to this?

IAN POULTER: Yes, without any question. I've played I have played very well. I'm not doing anything different in the last few weeks to what I've done all year. That's obviously why I get frustrated when I'm not achieving what I think I should be achieving.

Certainly I put myself in the mix at U.S. PGA, NEC, U.S. Open. I can think of a stashload of tournaments this year where I've missed the putts that I really thought I should have been holing. It's all ifs and buts and all that kind of stuff, but they were putts that I really did feel I had a great chance of holing, and I didn't. And when you do hole them, this is what happens; you shoot good scores and everything looks great.

Q. Is this not the most beautiful, almost Cinderella going to the ball golf course you've been playing at, the views, the design, the location? Isn't it just spectacular?

IAN POULTER: It's a nice place to come and play golf. It's obviously close to home for me. The designers done a good job and it's in fantastic condition. I think all the guys would agree they've done a good job getting the course in great condition for this week.

Q. Do you feel like Cinderella and that you should be coming to the ball this week?

IAN POULTER: (Laughing) Not quite.

Q. How much did it hurt last week, you obviously just watched some of the golf

IAN POULTER: No, it didn't hurt me. I'm over that. If you make a side, fantastic. It was unfortunate a couple of weeks too late and the putter was red hot just on the wrong week. But I didn't sit there and mope around and feel unhappy. I've played great this year. I'm absolutely over the moon the way I'm playing golf right now. I'm not going to sit in for three days and be depressed when there's guys out there playing great golf. I've been playing great golf over this year, and I feel very happy and proud the way I've been playing, it just hasn't quite worked.

To see the guys go out there and gel like they did was awesome; it was absolutely it was great to see. It was great TV. Shame I wasn't there, but these things happen. I can't do anything about that now.

I'm just going to look forward to playing great tournaments in the next two years and try and make the next side.

Q. The fact that you're not there and several other guys who are playing really, really well didn't make it, either, does that say something about the real strength of European golf, that we have got that you didn't make that team? Does that say that we must have a very, very strong

IAN POULTER: Yeah, the depth is there. There's a lot of great golfers coming through now, and I think there has been for a little while, but right now, it's very, very strong in Europe. That certainly says a lot for European Tour and the European golf, really. It's probably the best it's ever been right now.

Q. Were you surprised at how magnanimous you felt and that you weren't feeling a bit bitter over the three days?

IAN POULTER: Of course I wanted to be there. I'm not going to be I'm not envious of anybody; I wanted to be there badly. Watching the guys tee off Friday, what an atmosphere. Unfortunately I wasn't there to experience it. I would have loved to have done. Everybody has told me it was awesome.

But, you know, I can't do anything about it, so why put myself in that kind of frame of mind. You know, I was excited after Madrid, obviously, after winning, and you know, I just tried to stay positive through last week and let the guys do a great job, and they did.

Q. Some great scores today with Padraig. Do you see this continuing for the next three days?

IAN POULTER: Yeah, I think so, providing the wind doesn't blow. It was pretty calm out there. It was a different golf course yesterday. It blew pretty hard, and that makes it tricky with a few crosswinds. You miss the fairway this week, you're going to struggle. You're certainly not going to get to the greens or get it close if you get it in the rough. If the weather is kind, you'll see guys rolling putts in and you should see some pretty good scores.

Q. You're obviously not here just to make numbers.

IAN POULTER: I don't do that in any golf tournament I'm playing nowadays. I feel my game is good enough to compete with the best in the world, and certainly when I putt well and when I drive it very well, then I'm going to give myself a lot of chances. You know, in the frame of mind I've got right now, I feel pretty confident that I can go out there and put some decent scores on the board.

SCOTT CROCKETT: Ian, well done.

End of FastScripts.

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