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January 23, 2010

Ian Poulter


SCOTT CROCKETT: Thanks, as always, for coming in and joining us. Your thoughts on the day.
IAN POULTER: Wind was pretty strong at the range and coming at a slightly different direction, and I knew pretty early on, I felt the golf course was going to play a lot tougher today. Got on to the golf course and realised guys had been making birdies all over the place and I was a little bit surprised.
But it was nice to birdie 2, 3, 4. I gave one back on 5, which was a shame because I hit a good drive and good 5-wood to about 40 feet and 3-putted there. And from there, I kept hitting good golf shots, kept giving myself chances, a couple slid by and it's nice to close out on the last.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Anything particular pleased you about the game today? It would seem pretty solid all around.
IAN POULTER: No, not really. I drove it pretty solid. Hit my irons very nicely. I managed to have a good look at a few putts and a few slid by but a few went in.
SCOTT CROCKETT: And the rust is definitely off, the rust you spoke of at the beginning of the week, definitely off, and you're right back at the game head on.
IAN POULTER: Yeah, I'm very happy, it should be good fun tomorrow afternoon with Rory and Martin.

Q. Was it better than your opening round where you set the pace?
IAN POULTER: No, I think that round was probably better. I shot 7-under and had a good look at probably three or four other really good birdie looks, so that could have been a very low round of golf.
I'm just very happy with today's round to be honest. And this morning, where the wind direction was, a few holes were going to play tough, i.e., 5. That's one of the holes I gave a shot back. But it was very solid, so I gave myself plenty of chances.

Q. In conditions much more different from the first two days, can you just tell us on the holes which are playing a lot differently because of the wind today?
IAN POULTER: Sure, 5, straight into the wind. Yesterday, driver, 8-iron, and today I hit my best driver and my best 5-wood. So it's playing 70 yards' difference, 80 yards' difference.
16, playing straight into the wind off the tee, so that's a tricky tee shot and obviously 14 is playing pretty tricky. That hole is a very tough hole anyway. And then obviously you've got 17, which is playing driver, 5-iron and so there's a few extra holes that are a bit tricky.

Q. Can you draw comparisons with Singapore, you came off the break that week and now this week; how does it compare?
IAN POULTER: Feels very similar to be honest. You know, I felt fresh. I mean, walking in off the golf course today, I'm coming up the last three or four holes, and sometimes in a busy stretch, you get a little bit tired, but I feel wide awake, I feel really good, I feel strong and I'm in a nice position. So obviously the adrenaline is there. So very similar feeling to Singapore.

Q. How was the putting today? Are the 20-footers still rolling in? You identified those as a key to the season?
IAN POULTER: Yeah, definite key. I think any time you can start rolling from 25 feet, definitely you're going to be able to putt a score together. I rolled a nice putt in on 8 from about 35 feet, which was good. And you know, I do feel pretty confident from that kind of range. So a little bit of mind-set work in the off-season, having a good chat with myself --

Q. Do you work with someone?
IAN POULTER: No, I don't. I'm just comfortable doing it myself to be honest. I picked up on a couple of areas where I think I do need to do some work. Certainly the shot on the last today was very pleasing. That is a shot that I've been working on, anything from 50 to 100 yards and it proved today that a little bit of work in the off-season has paid off.

Q. What was the lesson that you gave yourself in the off-season about the putting, was there anything in particular?
IAN POULTER: Not really. I think just be more focused about the practise putting that I've been doing when I do do the putting practise. So when I got here Tuesday, working on 15, 20, 25 foot putts, I mean, putting stats from inside eight feet are very, very good. I hole out very, very well.
So you know, surely that part of my putting is good, so I have to look at the other areas, which was poor certainly in the 15 to 25 foot area. I worked on that Tuesday and when you start holing putts from 15, 20, 25 feet, you start thinking, why has it ever been a problem but it's different when you get on the golf course.

Q. Have you changed putters?
IAN POULTER: I changed last year, actually. It's working very well right now, so no need to change that one just yet, even though I've got one being sent out.

Q. How important is pace --
IAN POULTER: It's all about pace. Yesterday my pace was off very early. I had a shocker on the first hole and rolled one five feet past and I pretty much struggled the rest of the day with pace from 20 feet.
So that's definitely key to holing putts from that distance. Obviously line and pace, and if you're not hitting -- if you're not hitting it to your comfortable zone past the pin, then your line is going to be affected.

Q. You looked very happy out there today, going into tomorrow, the final day, is there any tension that creeps in at all?
IAN POULTER: I'd like to get the adrenaline going early. But I feel comfortable on the golf course right now. When most parts of your game are good, then you should be able to feel very comfortable on the golf course, that's what I feel right now and we can go out there tomorrow and have a bit of fun.

Q. Is it just putting or is there another aspect that's not quite there at the moment?
IAN POULTER: I'm probably going to say bunker shots, but I've only hit a couple of bunker shots. They were both sort of fairly tricky lies, but I mean, I really haven't got myself in a position where I made a good up-and-down on 14 today from the right-hand bunker, and yeah, that's probably the only other area which I have worked on and this week, the bunkers are very, very firm.
I think you'll see a lot of people actually struggling with their pace out of the trap. They are going to find themselves that the ball is going to release out. Yes, the grooves are a tiny factor there, because there's not that much sand in the bunkers, and the club bounces pretty hard off the bottom of the bunker and the ball sort of comes out pretty fast.

Q. How many were you in?
IAN POULTER: Three bunkers.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Ian, well done today. Good luck tomorrow.

End of FastScripts

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