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May 8, 2008

Ian Poulter


Q. Have you talked to your buddy Trevor at all? He got sick today and withdrew.
IAN POULTER: No, I was up at 5:00 o'clock this morning. I don't normally take calls at 5:00.

Q. Was there an advantage to going out early today?
IAN POULTER: Yeah, definitely. The wind forecast today was to pick up during midday, and it's done that. Any time in any major or any big golf tournament, if you tee off first, I think it's a good thing. Obviously the greens have just been cut and rolled, they're perfect, there's no spike marks, so there certainly is a chance to get off to a good start.

Q. Why do you think in this event only one European has been successful? There's a couple of you up on the board today, but why do you think --
IAN POULTER: I don't know. I'm not aware of that, to be honest. I haven't really looked at that in any detail to answer a question why Europeans haven't done well, to be honest.

Q. There's nothing about the course or --
IAN POULTER: No, nothing. I don't think so. There's nothing that's in my mind anyway.

Q. You have one of your Ryder Cup teammates up at the top of the board, Sergio. Do you feel like he's kind of gotten lost in the shuffle a little bit of the 20-somethings because others have come up with wins and he hasn't?
IAN POULTER: No, not really. I think Sergio is an awesome golfer. We all know how well he hits the golf ball, and he flushes it. He hits it awesome tee to green, and he's working hard on his putting.
I think it's no secret to anybody that he's been struggling with his putting for a little while, but as soon as he gets it right, we all know he's going to be winning. I know he's working hard, and I'm sure he'll be in the winner's circle as soon as he gets it right. It may be this week. If he's putting well this week, then who knows, and watch out. We all know he's certainly good enough to win.

Q. Do you think he's been treated a little bit unfairly by the media just because he hasn't won? There's someone who wrote that he was insignificant.
IAN POULTER: He's won a few tournaments.

Q. But it's the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately syndrome.
IAN POULTER: There's a lot of good golfers out here playing golf right now, and just if you don't win, it's no big deal, I don't think. He'll win.

Q. First day for you, getting off to a good start is important. More than score itself, you feel now you're in the tournament?
IAN POULTER: It's always nice to get off to a good start. It gives you a bit of confidence for the rest of the week. I've always played well generally when I've got off to a good start. And I certainly would like to play well for the rest of the week certainly in this golf tournament. It's one everybody wants to win, and that's why it's rated as probably the fifth major.

Q. Number one for you would be the Open, British Open, wouldn't it?
IAN POULTER: If I have to be picky, then I suppose, yeah.

Q. But I mean, you'll take any major and then --

Q. Best facet of your game today? Anything really impress you?
IAN POULTER: I started to drive it really well. It's something I've struggled with the last few weeks, probably just under 50 percent fairways hit in regulation. I mean, last week to make 17 birdies and an eagle with only hitting 50 percent of the fairways tells me the fairways I'm hitting gives me an opportunity, and when I'm hitting the green, I'm rolling some putts in.
A key today was just to make sure I'm hitting more fairways to therefore give myself a lot more chances, and I managed to do that probably six holes in. I felt something, I felt something click, and I started to drive it really well. And that's nice, to drive it well around this golf course knowing I'm hitting my irons well.

Q. Will this golf course change over four days?
IAN POULTER: It's going to dry out. I don't think there's any forecast for any rain. The Bermuda is firm, it's tight, it's certainly not going to get any softer, so therefore it's going to get tricky. It's going to dry out pretty good.

Q. This is kind of an odd golf course because there's so much water here and so much sand. Is there more luck involved with doing well here than maybe on some other golf courses?
IAN POULTER: No. You have to play well around this golf course. You have to strike it well. Mis-hits are going to get in big trouble around here. If you're not on your game, you're going to struggle a lot. You can't afford to mis-hit golf shots around this golf course. You're not really going to get lucky when you do hit a bad golf shot.
Certainly on holes like 16, 17 and 18, we all know what can happen around there, and bad shots are punished. I think that's a good thing.

Q. What did you hit at 17 and where did the ball end up?
IAN POULTER: Pitching wedge to 15 feet.

Q. Any time you do that --
IAN POULTER: It's nice.

End of FastScripts

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