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January 24, 2010

Ian Poulter


IAN POULTER: Well, if you would have offered me 6-under at the start of the day I probably would have taken it. But in the first three, wouldn't have taken it, being 6-under through 12, I would definitely have not taken it.
It was a good day's golf, no bogeys, played solid, had a couple of chances coming in, you know, it was a shame, I just pulled my tee shot a bit on the last, to get it a little closer to get on the front of that green and 2-putt. But Martin's played well today. He's played very solid, he was in front, shot 6-under and that's going to be hard to beat?

Q. 17, the turning point, when he ran through --
IAN POULTER: Yeah, he did, I would have said I was more annoyed about my putt to be honest with you. It was bang on-line, straight in the middle and I was up into the grain, just didn't quite hit it.
So it's a nice start to the season I guess. If you're going to take the positives out of that, I'm pretty frustrated that I've walked away shooting that score and I haven't won.
But it's good. Move on next week, have a bit of fun, see if we can go one step closer next week and take two weeks off for the Match Play.

Q. You're playing beautifully?
IAN POULTER: Yeah, playing lovely. The shots I've dropped in four days, one was a 3-putt, which really was a bit frustrating, just come up four foot short, missed, and then the other two bogeys were, I felt just concentration error, and apart from that just flawless.

Q. (Inaudible.)
IAN POULTER: No, I could have holed a couple more putts. It was fairways and pretty much straight at pins, which is not -- I'm playing lovely.

Q. Did you feel like the senior player in the group, because there was a feeling at the start -- you did look a bit like the boss of the group out there?
IAN POULTER: I would like to have stamped my foot down a bit harder. The first three birdies, really, and I wanted to get fast out of the gate, and I did, you know, I should really have birdied 4 and I had a great chance at 5. Birdied 6. If you look at that there, I could really have been 6-under through the first six holes and that would have troubled him but it's a shame. Just not sure.

Q. The way you played the back end of last year and the way you played here in Abu Dhabi, are you as confident as you've ever been approaching tournaments out in the fairway?
IAN POULTER: Yeah, I'm confident. I'm comfortable on the golf course. I'm happy with everything, every part of my game. I'm happy at home. The kids are getting on great at school and we have got a new puppy and I'm happy on the golf course. What more can you want? When there's other parts of the world that are suffering right now, you just realise how fortunate you are to be in the situation playing golf the in sunshine and earning an awful lot of money, so very fortunate.

Q. In terms of the bigger tournaments and the majors, are you that much more confident than you were, say, this time last year or two years ago?
IAN POULTER: I'm feeling pretty confident right now. If you're going to hit the golf ball the way I've hit it for four days, I'm excited to go out there and play golf, and that to me is the best bit, to walk on a golf course and feel fresh and excited to go out there and play golf.

Q. You've played both tours quite a lot now; is there a sense that The European Tour standard is really getting on a par with the American tour now?
IAN POULTER: I mean, yeah, if you look at the World Ranking position of the guys in the Top-50 from Europe, I think they are pushing a lot of weight right now. It bodes well hopefully for Ryder Cup, some of the rookies can make the side, give Colin less of a headache. I mean, it's going to be a fun September and October.

Q. How much has your time in the States helped you with things like putting? Has it made you a better putter?
IAN POULTER: It might do. The surfaces are pure. I mean, this week, the surface, you can't get any better. They are very, very pure. So if you start the ball on the right line there, it will go in. In terms of practising putting, I probably haven't done a lot of practise in 11 weeks I've had off, six before Singapore and five here. I've probably had two hours of putting in 11 weeks.
And it doesn't make any sense, don't ask me why, but when I got on the putting green, to spend 15 minute, I was holding them, so why stand there, and then find you are going to miss a couple. So if you start holing from five feet, go back to 20 feet, they start going in, 40 feet, that's time; that's time for me to go in and have a it up of tea. Doesn't make any sense.

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