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February 22, 2007

Ian Poulter


RODDY WILLIAMS: Ian, very well played. Got off to an early advantage over Bradley there, back to all square and then came through at the end. How does it feel to get through the second round?
IAN POULTER: Very nice. I got off to a nice start. I probably made quite a cheeky 4 on the first and Bradley hit a shot in there to probably eight feet -- so a short eagle putt for him -- and I managed to roll a 20-footer in and he missed. He was probably expecting to walk off 1-up.
He bogeys the next, I make a good par. And then from there I kind of kept putting him under pressure. It was a great game. He come back at me with a couple of birdies, but it was an exciting game. I think I had six birdies, no bogeys, and that's always pretty tricky to play against, so I was pretty happy with my form.

Q. Yesterday, as well, a lot of birdies out there for you?
IAN POULTER: Six birdies, no bogeys, so I'm pretty confident right now the way I'm hitting it. Yeah, it's all good fun.

Q. Looks like Trevor Immelman in the next round. Thoughts on that one?
IAN POULTER: Again, they're all friends at this stage, which is obviously quite tricky, but it's going to be a tough match whoever you play. Trevor is a great player. He's been in form certainly for the last year, and I'd expect it to be a tough game.

Q. Playing with a friend, which he obviously is, do you have to block that out, or was there chat between you? How was the atmosphere in the game?
IAN POULTER: It was fine. You know, you do have to keep it business. But, you know, we are friends and we were chatting on the way around. Bradley likes his cars, so do I. We was having a chin wag about that. When it was his shot, just focus.

Q. On the first hole, the putt that you gave, did you realize how far that was? I mean, it was three foot on ShotLink.
IAN POULTER: Listen, I was over the moon to walk off with a halve. I was 25, 30 feet away. I couldn't see it, but it only looked two feet. Was it three feet?

Q. Yeah.
IAN POULTER: I was very generous then, wasn't I (laughter)?

Q. Did you actually see it?
IAN POULTER: Yeah, I saw it -- look, if I would have walked over there it might have been an inch closer, but it was -- I was happy to walk off with a halve. It looked like I was going to go 1-down. I could have made him putt it, but I'm a nice guy.

Q. Heavy European influence here to this point through the brackets, but I was hearing Dredge say the only time he plays match play is when it's for 20 quid at his club. Is it a misconception that European players play more match play than Americans do? Do you play a lot of it?
IAN POULTER: I don't think we play any more tournament match play, more than the American guys. We play Seve Trophy. A lot of the American guys will play Presidents Cup, so I guess we probably have -- you know, an equal chance of playing as much match play as U.S. guys.
Yeah, we always play friendly games when we're playing back home or even practice this week. You know, you try and keep a bit of interest in it somewhere along the line when you're playing different golf courses. It just helps you focus.

Q. You're a very colorful dresser. Do you sort of plan your outfits ahead day-to-day?
IAN POULTER: I plan them for every day (laughter). No, I've got a fairly extensive wardrobe, so I just go through and pick out my clothes as I would do for a normal tournament. I've come away for three weeks, I've got three weeks' worth sitting in the suitcase. It's pretty heavy (laughter).

Q. You don't have like a victory outfit like Tiger?
IAN POULTER: I'll let you know Sunday (smiling).

Q. You did well in this tournament a couple years ago. Do you think there's a reason your game especially suits match play?
IAN POULTER: The format. I like the feeling you get on the first tee. It's very, very different to stroke play, certainly on a Thursday. It might not be for other players, but certainly for me. You know you've only got 18 holes to perform.
It's almost like you're going out in contention on Sunday. You've got a nice buzz. You've got the adrenaline going, and generally when I'm in that frame of mind I perform pretty good.
So for me it's nice to only have 18 holes to perform and try and get the adrenaline going early, just keep focus on pins, keep hitting at them.

Q. Is it also because there's a sense if you have a bad hole, then so be it, it's gone, whereas in stroke play, a double bogey might really get under your skin?
IAN POULTER: Yeah, it might be. I don't know, I just -- I get quite -- I get a big buzz out of playing certainly Sunday in contention but also in match play format. With it only being 18 holes you can't expect your partner to be making mistakes, so you have to make birdies.
It's a nice frame of mind to go out on the golf course with, and generally when you do that, you can shoot very low in this format. You have to shoot low to beat your opponent.
For me it's a nice adrenaline rush on the first tee. You have to get off to a good start.

Q. Would you describe yourself as a sort of fighter that you enjoy this one-on-one aspect --
IAN POULTER: Yeah, I love it. Sunday in contention, I love being put under pressure, and I do feel under pressure standing on the first tee.
You know, if I can do that in stroke play events right from the getgo, then I might be able to win a couple more tournaments. It's a completely different feeling, first tee on a Thursday, as opposed to 18-hole match play.

Q. The downside of that is if -- in match play you could lose in 13 holes and be going home after the first round, whereas in stroke play if you have a reasonable round you can still be in it. Is there a sense of frustration or do you worry about that?
IAN POULTER: It doesn't worry me. No, that side of it -- I haven't thought about that side.

Q. You say you like your cars. Is your game in the moment in Mondial mode or Ferrari mode or what mode in between?
IAN POULTER: Second gear in my Ford GT doing about 85 mile an hour at the moment.

Q. It's not a Volkswagen Touareg?
IAN POULTER: It's a nice adrenaline rush when you're squeezing the accelerator and the back end is twitching.

Q. You've got a few more gears to go through this weekend?
IAN POULTER: That's why it's only second gear, not sixth gear, otherwise I'd be struggling. I'd be all out.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Ian, thank you very much and good luck next round.

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