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January 31, 2008

Ian Poulter


IAN POULTER: The press do want to do that and you're left with an unfortunate situation with egg on your face, and I think it's very sad when it was answered respectfully and honestly.

Q. What about the rest of the quote? Although you are quoted as saying you didn't rate anyone and although you respected them you didn't rate them?
IAN POULTER: That, also, was answered in not just a few words. It was answered in probably a minute's quote, and to say that Tiger Woods is so far in front of everybody else, to look at everyone else, you have to look at Tiger Woods. If you want to achieve more in golf and if you want to play better in golf, you look at one person, and he is so far in front. He's so good; you look back at everybody else.
It's not disrespectful to turn around and say you don't rate anyone else. I look at tiring woods as No. 1 in the world and I want to get as close as he possibly can. As long as he's playing golf I'm not going to get to No. 1 so No. 2 is the spot. What I said was obviously not meant to say I don't rate anyone else.
There's world-class golfers everywhere and I play against them week-in and week-out and again that's been taken slightly the wrong way and it's been put on paper in a shortened version of how I explained it.
So again, very frustrating, what more can I say. It's a quote on quote, and it has not come out how I explained it in the first place which is very unfortunate sometimes when you let people in your house for three hours and you do a nice, private interview and this is what happens. Very unfortunate.

Q. Thank you.
IAN POULTER: My pleasure. I'm only too happy to clear it all up.
It's a shame, it's a great shame. Now you're hearing my answer to a question which is quite straightforward, you know, can I get to No. 1 in the world, no, I can't, really, not while Tiger is playing golf.
Can I get to No. 2? Yeah. Justin has moved up so far in the World Rankings last year; if he has the same year he had last year as he has this year, there's a chance of him taking the No. 2 spot. If people do play well over a period of two years, you can get to No. 2. You can't reach Tiger.
So the quote on quote to say, you know, it would be a dream to see Tiger Woods and then me in the World Rankings as you look down, what's wrong with saying that? Is it being rude? Is it being disrespectful to everybody else? I don't think so.

Q. It's a long way to that from what appeared in the magazine, isn't it?
IAN POULTER: What do you mean?

Q. Well, in the magazine is says, it's just me and Tiger Woods and my ability play to my potential; it's me and Tiger Woods.
IAN POULTER: See, that's not how it comes out -- that's how it's come out but that's not how it was said, you know, and that's a shame.
I've been trying to kid everybody. Come on, it's not --

Q. So are you saying you were misquoted?
IAN POULTER: I'm misquoted. It was taken out of context. It was taken out of context. The whole answer to the question has been taken out of context.

Q. But to not rate anyone else --
IAN POULTER: I'm talking about Tiger Woods, look how far Tiger Woods is in far of everybody else. It's not rating somebody. Tiger Woods is so far in front and people want to get as close as they possibly can to that.
Again, it might have been miss phrased. I have respect for everybody that plays golf. I play against them week-in and week-out. They are my friends. To say that, you are not going to rate them. That's not how it was supposed to come out and that's not how I believe I actually said that, and it's not believing the whole answer to that question; what was how it was phrased. And if it's been published the way it has, then it's a great shame.
You know, it is what it is. Everybody's written about it today. Are our people are going to actually tell my side of the story? Probably not. Probably not. Because there was so much wrote about it today. Is my side going to come out tomorrow? Maybe not. But that will be a great shame in it doesn't, either.

Q. Did you see any adverse reaction before you got to put your point across to any other players?
IAN POULTER: I wasn't here yesterday. I was in my hotel. I didn't get to see everybody else to put my side across and if I had, it might be a little bit different, I don't know. Maybe it would have been, maybe it wouldn't have been.

Q. Have you been in touch with the magazine?
IAN POULTER: I'll be having a discussion with him, yeah. I'm having a discussion with him for sure.
You know, everyone sees me with my clothes on week-in and week-out. It's a bit different when you have your clothes off, isn't it. I thought they were different and I always like doing different things. It would be a boring cover shot if I'm standing there in a pair of to users and a tee shirt, it wouldn't have the same impact.
So doing stuff different is what I've done for the last eight years, so I actually thought it was quite nice, thank you.

Q. Is that something you feel needs to be more in golf, something different?
IAN POULTER: Yeah, otherwise -- (indiscernible) -- even shooting 61 is different, and that doesn't happen all the time.
So I haven't actually had a copy of the magazine. I've been told what was actually put in the magazine and was it okay; I haven't seen any of it and that's where you get this problem, that's where you get this situation. If he's told you guys that I've seen it, it's fine about it, that's what you go out there and do, you go out there and make public humiliation for a person, and I don't think, really, that's fair, do you?

Q. From our point of view, you think, well, if he's checked at all with you, I have no reason to doubt what he's saying --
IAN POULTER: That's where you get crossed wires. He's told you the hair say that he spoke to me. I haven't seen him. I don't have a copy of the magazine. So therefore, he's saying oh, okay, that's gone right what we want to say so let's quote on quote and take it out of the context of how I actually answered the question is where you get these problems and that's why some of the stuff that kids put in the paper is not fair.

Q. Did he check with you at all?
IAN POULTER: No. I didn't see --

Q. He didn't read it to you?
IAN POULTER: I had done the article three months ago. Since that day, since that photograph, I've not heard from them or seen them, and that photograph, actually I have the rights to that photograph so I'm not sure -- if it's published in the paper today, three of them swore that I have the rights to that photograph so how it got published, again, I don't know really, but I will be finding out.
Because I was sworn that I would only do that photograph if I keep the rights for it, and it will be used once, and only once, and it will be for a cover shot and that's it. And they are publicizing the paper; is that right? Can't be right, can it.

Q. Well, you go through the magazine, we would have gone through the magazine --
IAN POULTER: But I own the rights to the photograph.

Q. The magazine obviously hasn't said that, have they. I would imagine we've gone through the magazine and they have said as long as you put that little bit at the bottom, you can run the photograph.
IAN POULTER: I own the rights to the photograph, and that's an issue. I will be taking up that issue and it might not be a very good one, you know. I'm quite within my rights that I was told, there three people in the room at the same time swore that photograph was mine, we have a copy of it back in the office.
I've also got a legitimate reason to be a little bit frustrated with every newspaper with their comments. And being called a pratt is not that great, is it, in front of 5 million.

Q. You haven't seen the magazine, the magazine article makes it look --

Q. False modesty --
IAN POULTER: Another quote from the Guardian, "Attention-seeking idiot." That's what was on the Web site.
But you know, I think it's a shame, really, to be honest.

Q. The quote about where you felt you stood in relation to other players, it's not a direct quote from the interview you gave at your house but it's telling an anecdote about what went on at the -- and he said to you who is going to win the Masters and he said Tiger and you didn't say anything when you said the U.S. Open and for the Open, you said yourself --
IAN POULTER: Okay. I'll answer that one very quickly. I'm having a practise round. I'm on a green -- I can remember now and he wants to quickly ask me who is going to win which tournament, and I think I sewed, well, you can put Tiger down for the Masters and he's said, all right -- and he went through a whole stash of tournaments.
And I said, you know, well, I'm not going to turn up at a golf tournament and not want to win a golf tournament, so why should I say who is going to win a golf tournament, so I might as well say myself. That gets -- and another quote in the paper, to turn around and say that I'm going to go and walk away with a U.S. Open, well, that's not fair, either, because that's actually not what's said either.
When someone has asked you a load of questions, who is going to win which tournament, if I turnaround and say, Tiger is going to win everything, and if he doesn't, then, you know, I don't want to turn up to a golf tournament and then accept second best before I get there, because that's not right. Tiger wins 50 per cent of his tournaments, so I have a chance just as 155 guys have to win the golf tournament.
So why should I turn around and say who else is going to win the golf tournament. You're accepting defeat. I don't want to do that. I don't want to turn around. I could quite happily say that I want to win every golf tournament I pick it up in, so I should really say myself, shouldn't I. You know, Tiger is going to say himself and other players, if they are going to answer the question honestly, should say themselves because they have got a chance. If they play well for four days, they have a chance to win the golf tournament, so did everybody, so why should I say anyone else apart from myself.
It's not being selfish and it's not being disrespectful and that's what I believe, and nor should I believe anything else, because you just dampen your own confidence every single time. So when someone is pestering you to answer questions who is going to win which tournament, I can't really stand there and say, me, me, me, me, me, because that's not right. But inside when I get to that tournament, of course I'm going to want to win this golf tournament.
Now I shouldn't have to name all different people to win certain golf tournaments. That's accepting defeat. Go and talk to a psychologist. He'll tell you exactly the same.

Q. That's how he said it came about the actual --
IAN POULTER: I haven't even read it. I haven't even read it. He was probably standing there at Bay Hill -- again, you know, taking stuff out of the way you're saying it and trying to have a practise round, trying to concentrate on what you're doing and someone is asking who is going to win the Masters, U.S. Open -- really I should not be answering those halfway during a practise round. I should really be doing my job and be asked that afterwards and to be asked that while you're practising is not good enough really so that's probably I didn't answered the question, I'd like to win the U.S. Open. Does that help that question, does it? I mean, we can go on and on and on and on and on.

Q. Has it affected you today?
IAN POULTER: I've had it on my mind since last night. The phone is ringing, you wake up in the morning or you put the telly text on -- or not the telly text, you put Internet on and it's the story and the story is that I couldn't get my word in before everybody else, has tried to humiliate me in front of millions, and yeah, I'm not going to lie. I'm going to tell you, I've been thinking it the whole way around the golf course. The second I'm walking off the green and seeing you guys because I'm going to get asked the question and I have to try and explain the situation of how it was actually said, as opposed to, how it's been written. Two very different, very different themes.

Q. So the context of a line --
IAN POULTER: Yeah, because I was 1-over par through ten holes, you know, and I worked seriously hard today. I can't lie. It was there on every shot to be honest with you, thinking about it between shots.
You know, thinking about -- when you do an interview three months ago, it's hard to try and -- when something gets written that late afterwards, it's hard to try and go back in your mind and think exactly what you did say and how the question was asked to you, and then when you do remember, you know, and you've given an answer to a question that's very lengthy and a small piece gets quoted, you know, it gets taken out of context and that's unfair, very, very unfair.

Q. Who was ringing you?
IAN POULTER: Listen, everybody, all sorts.

Q. Warning you?
IAN POULTER: Not warning but -- I didn't need to see it. I spoke to my manager. They she had the phone has been ringing, SKY Sports news, I spoke to Spoony last night and they all wanted to know what was actually said because I had been asked about it, and I explained the situation.

Q. Aside from us have you been asked about it by others since you got here by this morning, like other players?
IAN POULTER: McGinley laughed about it. He found it very funny. He said, "I know how you've explained it, and I see exactly what you've said. Many other people don't."
So friends and people -- I'm not going to say something that disrespectful to so many people. I work with them day-in, day-out and that's not fair. I don't disrespect anybody else on the golf course. I respect them all. You know, I'm not going to go and say something as silly how it's been laid out. I'm going to find myself in a -- I don't want to put myself in an uncomfortable situation with everybody. That's not right. That's not right. It's not fair.
You know, I think I do conduct myself and answer questions very honestly, unlike, you know, many people would wouldn't answer them as honestly. You know, I'll try and give my fair opinion on it. You know, at times that causes a bit of controversy, which, you know, when you're honest about answering a question, I'm only trying to do my job and be honest.

Q. Will you change your answer in the future?
IAN POULTER: Why should it? I've been honest. I've been honest for nine years, so no. I answer questions as honestly as I possibly can. I don't, you know, say how they would like to hear it or how people want to hear it. I'll say honestly, and that's how I intend to stay, because that's me. So why should I change the way I say stuff, if people want to right it and put it down on paper, not how it was actually said, then we're going to get issues, aren't we, issues like today, and that's a great shame, really.

Q. Do you feel better?
IAN POULTER: Not really, because seven million people have not even seen it, or how many people are going to take their own opinion of it and actually hear it and get my side of it. It's going to be a shame.

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