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July 20, 2008

Ian Poulter


Q. It could have been so much better for you.
IAN POULTER: Very possibly. You know, at the start of the day, before you tee off, you know, you've got a score in mind. I shot what I thought was a good round of golf. I would have taken 1-under par before I went out to play today. If I reflect back, would I have -- if I should have? Yeah, I should have finished a couple more under par. I missed a good opportunity on 13 from five feet, you know, and I go and three-putt 17, which is a little bit frustrating, and perhaps it might have pushed Paddy a little bit harder.
But hats off to Padraig, going back-to-back, pretty impressive. That's very impressive. You know, the shot he hit into 17 was quite awesome. Every credit to Padraig.

Q. Was the intention in the front nine just to play percentage shots rather than to go for pins and risk bogeys?
IAN POULTER: Yeah, you just look how the golf course played yesterday and know that everybody is going to drop shots. It was exactly the same today. The wind was perhaps a couple miles an hour slower, so therefore you was able to hit a couple more shots close to the pin. It was pretty clear early on -- I'm 2-over through three holes. That wasn't the best of starts. And I could see that obviously conditions weren't going to get any easier, and I just thought if I can keep hitting good golf shots, keep giving myself chances, keep rolling a few putts in, then it could turn around pretty quickly.
It did. The holes started to open up a little bit around the back nine. I rolled a couple in and I just played solid down the stretch. Guys were struggling behind me.

Q. People are missing three-footers out there today.
IAN POULTER: Yeah, I missed a couple short ones, but I managed to hole putts at the right time. 16 was a good putt. I hit it 18 feet, it was quite funny. It's the same putt I practised for six hours on the putting green on Wednesday, would you believe, or Tuesday, and wore a couple of holes on the putting green. That was Monday, actually. It was a cup outside the left. I hit a good putt that I practised for six hours, and she went in. So that was a nice boost. I thought right then I had a good chance to win.

Q. How much confidence does this give you competing in majors?
IAN POULTER: Well, I've known that I can perform and I can play good. I guess just trying to let that come out in me. You know, I've certainly put in a decent show today. There's plenty more in me, and I know I can go better. On that side of it, yeah, I'm fairly happy how I've played today, and I'll take a lot of confidence from that.

Q. When you hear all this going off behind you, does it give you inspiration to come back and go that stage further?
IAN POULTER: You know, it was a great buzz around the whole back nine. I don't think I've enjoyed a week as much as I have this week. It's on home soil, the crowd has been absolutely awesome, they've been driving me on. The chants have been awesome out on the golf course. To start holing putts around the back nine, to hear everybody screaming and shouting and driving you on is a massive adrenaline rush, it's a massive boost.
You know, I've done my best, and it hasn't quite been good enough. But I'll be back for lots more of this. It's a nice roller coaster ride.

Q. Did you see Padraig nail it at 17?
IAN POULTER: I was watching from the practise ball cabin. It could still go wrong. You know, he's hit 5-wood from 270-odd yards. He's hit it perfectly, he's hit it to five feet. So every credit, great shot.

Q. Do you want to lose like that, really, if you have to lose?
IAN POULTER: He's gone out there and done his stuff around the back nine. He's played incredible. It's a hell of a performance, what can you say? Back-to-back Opens hasn't been done that often, so it's pretty impressive.

Q. (Question about the Ryder Cup.)
IAN POULTER: It would be nice to be. I've certainly put myself right back in the picture. There's been a lot of talk this year. I haven't achieved what I should have achieved this year so far, and I said at the start of the week it's amazing what one week can do to your whole year. Let's hope that this will springboard me on to have a massive push over the next, you know, few weeks before the Ryder Cup gets picked. You know what, I want to make this side. I've made it clear from day one. It was great to be in it four years ago. I want to be on that side. I feel I've got a lot to offer to the side, and if I play like I did today, then the Ryder Cup side would be a great place to be.

Q. (Inaudible.)
IAN POULTER: Yeah, it was right in the front of that green, and I've seen numerous putts get blown over the last couple of days, and the last thing you want to do is once you're 30 feet from the pin, all of a sudden have a 50-yard wedge shot. I made a speedy run up that fairway to mark it.

Q. (Inaudible.)
IAN POULTER: No, not really. That's all past. You know, I'm happy to be playing good golf, more than anything else. I don't need to ride the storm of comments that get made and get taken out of context. I'm just here to play good golf, and I'm pleased I went out there today and put a good show on. It's just nice, you know? It's nice to finish runner-up in an Open. It would have been nice to go one step further, but I'll take a lot of confidence from this.

Q. You've actually won tournaments before, but is this going to feel like your best result?
IAN POULTER: No, it's all about winning. I finished second today. I'm not going to hold a second place as high as some of my wins. It's all about winning. Padraig has gone out there and shown he's a worthy winner again, and that's what you strive for. You don't strive to finish second, you strive to win, and that's what will make me practise harder and harder.

Q. There are such fine margins involved. Is there anything, however small, you need to do to get you over the line in a major?
IAN POULTER: Hole a couple of putts at the right time. 13 would have been key, 17 would have been key today. But look at Padraig, he's probably parred the last and won by four. He'd have won by two if I would have holed those two putts. I can only do what I can do, and I done my best.

Q. You said you got 18 good holes in after the late bogeys yesterday. Those bogeys, they hurt last night. Did you think of them today?
IAN POULTER: You never look back. It's too easy to do that and get too critical. You take the positives out of today, and that was I've played well down the stretch. I've made a couple of birdies and I've finished off pretty much how I felt I could. To do that and finish strong is very pleasing.

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