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April 11, 2008

Ian Poulter


SCOTT FORD: Well, this afternoon we have Ian Poulter with us, and he's agreed to come in and answer any questions you might have this afternoon.

Q. What was the music you were listening to on the first tee on the iPod?
IAN POULTER: Just my normal music. I keep it -- no, there was no Pink Floyd in there. It was a bit of chillout music, so a bit of R&B.

Q. Just who is it?
IAN POULTER: Just a massive mixture. I've got a couple hundred songs on there, so you just scroll through and find the one that sounds right.

Q. Is it fair to say that 16 is your favorite?
IAN POULTER: It's looking that way at the pin, yeah, playing it in three shots for two rounds is pretty nice.

Q. Can you just go through your shot there today?
IAN POULTER: It was 160 yards today. Again, it was quite good downwind. It was a nice, solid 9-iron and I struck it perfect. If anything, it actually pitched about three or four yards past where we thought it was going to pitch, and that's why it's sort of come down a couple yards low.

Q. So yesterday was your best round ever in a major, and you scored one better today; you played better or how would you rate the two rounds?
IAN POULTER: I scored better today. You know, I had a couple of really key up-and-downs. Looking at the up-and-down I made on 3, looking at the up-and-down I made on 5, they were huge to keep momentum going really. It kept the round going.
And then to birdie the next hole put me in a nice position and settled me right back down.

Q. Do you like where you are going into the weekend, two more rounds like that, would you take them right now?
IAN POULTER: Yeah, I would, yeah.

Q. You're a friend of Trevor Immelman; can you talk about how far he's come since his surgery?
IAN POULTER: Yeah, I mean, it's incredible. I think it was a shock to everyone he had to go in for surgery. You know, he's bounced back pretty quickly, so it shows how committed he is to getting fit and practicing hard, and that's obviously what he's done to get ready for Augusta.

Q. You have so many good friends up there, with Trevor and Casey and Justin, Westy's around; this could be one of the great weekends, couldn't it?
IAN POULTER: Could be. (Laughing) We'll see.

Q. How excited are you by it?
IAN POULTER: I mean, I'm in great position. It's certainly the best position I've been in after two rounds of any major. So playing the way I've played, I'm feeling pretty confident going into the weekend to just go out there and play good golf.

Q. Was any factor that struck you -- which strikes you as the most important factor in terms of getting you into this position? Why are you now in this position where in the past you haven't been?
IAN POULTER: Because I played really solid. You know, I've holed the right putts at the right time, and I mentioned earlier, the up-and-down on 3, and the up-and-down on 5, I mean, they were probably one in ten up-and-downs. I had to hole a very slippery sort of 7-footer on 3, and I managed to roll one in from 20 feet on 5 to keep me going.
That's what you have to do. You have to have a little bit of luck as I did yesterday on 16, and you have to hole those par putts when you need to. That's what I've done the last couple of days, and I've also struck the ball very well and holed a few birdie putts.

Q. You're pretty good friends with Trevor. Can you just sort of talk about with all of the health things he's gone through in the last 12 months, what he's doing out here and to get back to where he was before that.
IAN POULTER: Yeah, Trevor is a true professional. He worked real hard practicing and you know, I see him on the range often at Nona, and he's grinding for hours.
It was good to see -- it's nice to see him back so quickly after having such shocking surgery.

Q. I forgot which tournament it was, either last year or the year before, you kind of gave yourself a pep talk after one round and you said it's about time to get going and get some wins and be more of a factor; what do you remember about that and what have you done since then?
IAN POULTER: Just try to practice harder, just try to get prepared for the right tournaments. You know, to be able to put myself back in the Top-50 in the world, I can sit down and look at the schedule; I can try to plan the weeks off where I can do the right work, like I have done in the last two weeks, and try to get myself ready for Augusta.
If I can keep doing that, keep staying fit and healthy and doing the right practice, then you know, I work hard enough at this game to hopefully achieve good things.

Q. Just out of interest, who took the money when you came down for the practice rounds with Justin and Trevor?
IAN POULTER: Justin did, yes.

Q. Maybe get it back on the weekend?
IAN POULTER: I don't know; it would be lovely to put the jacket on.
SCOTT FORD: Seeing as there are no further questions, would you go through the birdies and call out what you hit into them.
IAN POULTER: The sixth hole, par 3, 7-iron to about 20 feet straight up the hill.
12, par 3, soft 8-iron to about 16, 17 feet.
Par 5, 13, I laid up to a good number and hit lob-wedge to about seven, eight feet.
And then on 16, nice 9-iron to about seven feet, rolled it in.

Q. Tiger is nine strokes back right now; with the way everybody is playing so well, do you think he's out of this thing at this point or is it too early?
IAN POULTER: Who knows with Tiger. He can go out there and put two 65s on the board, I know that. We've all seen it before. It wouldn't surprise me if he goes ahead and does it.
But Augusta National is a difficult golf course, and, you know, it's never over till it's over. We've seen him do it before. He's shot 40 on the front nine and come back and won by a few. He's pretty good.

Q. When you first turned pro, did you think you were good enough then to be at this sort of level, and did something happen?
IAN POULTER: Well, I turned pro at 4 handicap. Yeah, I had that kind of naive inner belief that I didn't understand what it would take to get on Tour at the time when I first did turn pro, but I soon learned pretty quickly to try and find my ways and try to win golf tournaments and to understand that you just have to keep getting better.
So I learned pretty quickly what I had to do to try achieve winning tournaments like this. It's been hard work.
SCOTT FORD: Thanks very much. Thanks for your time. Ian, thank you.

End of FastScripts

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