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December 3, 2009
THOUSAND OAKS, CALIFORNIA
DOUG MILNE: Ian Poulter, thanks for joining us for a few minutes here after Round 1 of the Chevron World Golf Challenge. A bit of a hiccup on the 18th hole, but other than that a very solid round. If you could just kind of take us through, obviously a lot more highlights than low lights. Just kind of take us through the round and kind of where you are.
IAN POULTER: Okay. Yeah, birdie -- short birdie at one, eight feet. Hit 5-wood to 25 feet for eagle on two and three-putted for par. 5-iron to about eight feet on three, birdie. Fourth hole, I hit 8-iron to six feet, birdie. Hit 3-wood to about 25 feet on the par-5 and three-putted for par on five.
10-foot birdie on the next. So I'm now 4-under. Seventh hole I lip out from 25 feet. Par-3, 8, I hit 4-iron to about 18 feet, holed it for birdie. Short birdie on 10, and then hit a utility which went 250 yards when really I only hit it 220, made bogey on the par-5, so I'm 1-over on the front now, which is very nice.
A little bit frustrated the next couple holes, steady chip, nice birdie on 15 and solid double on the last.
DOUG MILNE: Okay. Well, we'll go ahead and just open it up for a few questions.
Q. Obviously you mentioned the par-5s. A 68, but are you sitting there shaking your head thinking what this round could have been had you taken care of business on the par-5s?
IAN POULTER: Yeah. Two three-putt pars on the 2 and 5 from 25 feet. You know, two two-putts there and all of a sudden I'm 7, 8-under par. I mean I lipped out on 7 and all of a sudden I could have had at least eight birdies on the round and that's without birdieing 9. That would have been ten birds, so ifs and buts don't make up a round of golf, unfortunately. It's 4-under par. I'm disappointed.
Yeah, I'm leading, but I should have been way clear. So I'm hitting some very, very good iron shots. I'm driving the ball in play. It was a poor 3-wood off the last which got me in a bit of trouble, didn't really leave me much of a second shot.
So encouraging I'm hitting my irons so well, and just got a little bit unlucky on the par-5s today. I'm playing them 1-over par, really just isn't that good.
Q. You obviously putted the ball it seems like pretty well throughout the round except for those couple of three-putts. Was there anything in particular, where they places that you got on greens and you just couldn't get home from there?
IAN POULTER: I had three three-putts today, all three of them were over a tier, and where the pin locations were over today you really didn't want to be putting over ridges because then it runs away to the hole, so it's easy to run it past.
That's exactly what I'd done on the second hole. I rolled it about seven foot past, missed it coming back. And I was probably a little bit too careful on the next par-5 going back up the ridge, left it five feet short, missed it. And then on the last I left it seven, eight feet short, so it's frustrating, but it's -- I'm in position.
Q. Ian, are you able to one of those guys what happened on 18 to just let it go and say, hey, I had a heck of a day and tomorrow's gonna be great, too?
IAN POULTER: It's done. I mean it's done. I can't do anything about it now. I've gotta look at the round of golf and look at where I made my birdies to make the birdies where I see it. I'm hitting my irons very, very well. I'm driving the ball in position. I'm giving myself a lot of chances. I'm taking some of those.
This is week six in a row for me, so maybe a little bit of concentration slipping out there on the golf course might be the reason why I made three three-putts today. So I've just gotta make sure I get my rest today and come out tomorrow, hit more good golf shots and attack the flags, and that's what I did today, and I was going at pins.
I'm happy to be here. This is a great tournament, and I want to go out there and win this week.
Q. What was the iron you hit on 15 and how far was the birdie putt there?
IAN POULTER: 7-iron to six feet.
Q. I apologize, but I missed 18 entirely. I'm sorry about that.
IAN POULTER: Hit my 3-wood off the tee. Hit a branch and went backwards. I thin tried to chip it to keep it under the tree, pulled it a touch. Took a drop off the cart path. Had 111 yards, I hit full sand iron, and it came out a little soft. I didn't quite carry the ridge, spun back down and left me 35 feet over the tip.
Q. Thank you.
IAN POULTER: Enjoyed every one of them.
Q. Could you talk about the atmosphere without the host out here, and if it was any different than what you expected or what?
IAN POULTER: I mean obviously it's disappointing that Tiger can't be with us, but looking at the field, it's very, very strong.
And you know, I said a minute ago I'm happy to be here. I wanted to play last year, and unfortunately I didn't get my entry in early enough.
So there's a lot of good players in the field this week, and if you can go ahead and win this tournament this week, it will be a big achievement and I'll move into the Top 10 in the world.
Q. With the fact that it's got world ranking points?
IAN POULTER: Absolutely. Yeah, I mean I'm coming in this week looking at where I could move to. I know exactly. I've done my calculations, and if I play well this week, then I can, you know, significantly move into the Top 10.
Q. If that were to happen, that would, I think, give Europe seven players in the Top 10. I wonder if you could just speak to that. Or if it doesn't they've still got six, which is the first ever.
IAN POULTER: It's great. It just says how strong European Tour golf is. Guys have been performing in the last 18 months to move themselves in position Paul Casey, Henrik Stenson, Harrington, Sergio, and Martin Kaymer is just outside. Those guys, Westwood, he's been in incredible form all year. Guys are playing well in big tournaments over the last 18 months.
Q. Ian, was there kind of for your mindset or maybe talk amongst the guys, is it almost relief to finally -- with all the chatter this week, to finally get down to the golf tournament and be able to get out there?
IAN POULTER: Yeah. I mean the focus for me this week is to go out there and win the golf tournament, and you know, that hasn't been exactly the same this week for me.
I'm here for one reason. That's to concentrate on my goals and try and move into the Top 10 in the world, and certainly the way I played today is a nice start and we've got three days left.
Q. What were the other six events?
IAN POULTER: Okay. I went to Singapore. I won. How can you forget that?
Q. With this being the sixth tournament for you, I was going to ask you whether you look at this as an end-of-the-year event or a start to the --
IAN POULTER: I've got one more to go. There you go.
Q. Is it still '09 to you or is this all 2010?
IAN POULTER: My calendar says '09. I mean it doesn't finish until I have my Christmas dinner, really. So.
Q. Next year with the slight -- I don't know what your schedule's looking like, but a lot of players will go to Riviera leading into the Match Play in Arizona. Next year it's going to be, because of the Olympics, it's going to be Pebble Beach, AT&T before -- you typically play Riviera, don't you, and will that change because of the format and what goes on at Pebble?
IAN POULTER: That's on my schedule. I haven't set my schedule yet. That's something I'll do after playing next week.
I've left it pretty late to work out my schedule, but my provisional schedule doesn't show me playing Pebble or Riviera. I haven't the last two years. I've played the tournament in the past a couple of times, but I mean if you look at my record around that place, it doesn't really suit me. So there's a fair chance I won't be going back. I tend to miss the ones I don't play well at.
IAN POULTER: No, I don't need to change anybody's mind, really. I really don't. I think obviously with the tournaments in Europe before that event, you know, there's three tournaments, which I think people would take into consideration before pencilling in Pebble for sure. That's Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Dubai, and if guys play those three events, they might want a week's rest and then go straight to the Match Play.
Q. Johnny Walker last year, didn't you?
IAN POULTER: Yes, I did that. Yes. That was my first event. Yeah. Johnny Walker. That was a nice flight. I've had some nice flights the last six weeks.
DOUG MILNE: Okay, Ian, thanks for stopping by. We appreciate your time. Best of luck tomorrow.
IAN POULTER: Thank you.
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