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February 18, 2010

Ian Poulter


STEVE TODD: Ian, thanks a lot for coming in. A win against Adam Scott today. How pleasing is that for you?
IAN POULTER: Very pleasing. It was never going to be an easy match. I don't think any of these matches are, whether you're 1 seed or 64.
It was a stalemate through the front 9. I made a silly three-putt on 7, really, to give Adam the hole there. And then I got a hole back on 9.
And I think the key to the match today for me was two good up-and-downs on 11 and 12 to win both of those holes to go 1-up. And then Adam pulled his second shot into 14. I had to take a penalty drop, and I was 2-up from there. I guess it was -- it was still nice to close the match out, even being 2-up. Adam definitely had a chance on 15 to win that hole, missed it. Made a great up-and-down on 16, and then two pars to close the game out on 17.
STEVE TODD: You are a great match play player. You've shown those qualities this week so far.
IAN POULTER: I'm happy. I like this format. I guess you get the adrenalin going from the first tee, which is nice. I think you can never expect your opponent to be out of the hole even when he does look like he's out of the hole. So I kind of did that on 16, and I was a little bit frustrated with that.
Adam was in a poor spot, over there on the right. And I kind of felt -- I didn't feel he would make up-and-down from over there, lack of concentration. Left my 15-foot putt short, which is a bit silly, really. So you can never expect someone to gift you a hole.
STEVE TODD: The fourth Englishman through here today, that's quite a record for the English.
IAN POULTER: It's good stuff. It's nice, yeah. I think there's a lot of good people in the field this week and a strong European presence.

Q. Ian, did you just go with the adrenalin or do you try to temper it and not waste too much?
IAN POULTER: Go with the flow. I think, you know, it's nice to be under that pressure on the first tee, to be honest, knowing every shot the clock is ticking and the holes are running out. So it's nice to be able to get off to kind of a fast start and ride the adrenalin rush and try to make as many birdies as you can.

Q. Seems like mental toughness is such a big part of match play and you seem to be really good at that. Can you kind of explain how that came to be or has that been a gradual process for you?
IAN POULTER: I'm not sure how it come about, really. I just -- I don't like losing, I think, more than anything else. I believe I can play this game pretty good. I think, as you said, my mental toughness is pretty strong, it's one of the key parts of my game. It's definitely got better over the last couple of years, and I expect to go out on the golf course and play well, play hard, and don't give matches away.

Q. What's your reaction to the timing of Tiger's announcement that it's coming right during the tournament here?
IAN POULTER: Well, I think he's -- I think he's going on before the coverage tomorrow, from what I read in the paper or what I've heard right now is he'd already spoken to Accenture and explained he wanted to do it before the coverage. And I believe that's nice of him to let Accenture know. Accenture obviously backed him up with that, and I think that's fine.
I mean, the sooner he comes out to tell us all when he's going to be coming back to play golf, great. We all want to see him on the golf course as soon as possible, and hopefully tomorrow he'll let us all know.

Q. If you're not out here prepping for the next round, will you be watching it?
IAN POULTER: Well, I'm playing tomorrow. For me, I don't turn the tele on in the morning before a round of golf. To be honest with you, I've got work to do tomorrow, I'll do my work and then I'll relax tomorrow afternoon.

Q. What's the first thing you're going to say to Tiger when you see him?
IAN POULTER: I really don't know. I've got no idea. I haven't thought about that, actually. I don't know. I really don't know.

Q. Lee was in here earlier on in the week saying about how the English don't get the recognition they deserve, seeing how many talented golfers we've got, and when you compare it to a sport like tennis, where one man in the Top-100 and he gets huge exposure. What's your thinking about that? Do you agree with Lee?
IAN POULTER: I think it's a great era for guys to be coming through playing great golf. Yeah, as you say, I think we do have to look at how good the English players are right now and give them a lot of credit for being able to move up the World Rankings as they have in the last ten years.
When Lee was, I think, the only guy, eight, nine years ago, that was in the Top-100 in the world. If you look at it now, I'm not sure of the stats, but I think there's probably at least 15 guys, maybe more. So it's great. But if people want to give us more recognition, that's fine. But I think there's enough good press about the good English players that we have.

Q. Could we do the high profile win?
IAN POULTER: Sure. I think we all want to try to win a Major. And I think the more events that go by, obviously we're going to have a better chance. The World Ranking points prove that. Hopefully one of us can come through.

Q. Do you look at the World Rankings to see where you might get in a certain week?

Q. How much do you look at that? Do you know this week, for instance?
IAN POULTER: I've had a good look, yeah. I've been punching numbers on my iPhone to know exactly where I'd go to. It would be a nice position. I'd be very happy.

Q. Referring back to the other fuss that was made, do you think you could get to No. 2, it's not that far off?
IAN POULTER: It's not, no. If I finish 2 this week, I think I'll move to No. 5. And if I win, I guess I get very close to 4. And if that certainly happens, it's a very small jump from that position to kind of get into a 2 spot. It's just a nice position to be in. There's a nice gap between, I think, 13 and 15 in the world.
So I'm kind of pushing myself away from that bracket and hopefully we can keep pushing forward and getting as close as we possibly can.

Q. Would be sweet, indeed, wouldn't it to be up there?
IAN POULTER: It would be quite nice.

Q. (Inaudible.)
IAN POULTER: It would be very nice. It would be a lovely position to be in. I don't think I have to prove anything to anyone. It would just be nice to get there.

Q. It seems like at least when you hear about the Europeans are more fixated to some extent on World Rankings and playing in events where there's points, where we don't seem to be as fixated maybe because we have so many events on this Tour. Can you talk about that and why it's so important for you to move up the rankings?
IAN POULTER: I think now that everybody is playing more of a global schedule, I think the only way to -- if you can't rank yourself in the way you finish in the FedExCup. You can play good for the season, have two bad weeks, and you move back 40, 50 spots. So you can't look at where you finish in that and say that's how I've played that way the whole year, I've finished 50th or 30th or whatever. You can't really do the same -- I mean, I guess you can do more of that in Europe because there's no -- there's no big jumps. We don't have a FedExCup, and it works in a complete different way.
So any way you can rank yourself or if you've improved or have gotten any worse is on World Ranking points. And I think a lot of guys in that Top-50 do look to see where we can play golf to make sure we maximize the World Ranking points that we're playing for.
Our contracts at the start or the end of the year are based on World Ranking points, and I think that really is why players focus so much on the World Rankings.

Q. Do you see -- I know you said you want to see Tiger back out here as quickly as possible, do you see Tiger the same now, when he gets back out here as you did a year ago?
IAN POULTER: As a player, yeah, for sure, I mean, you know, he's stepping straight back into his No. 1 in the world position. He hasn't been away from golf long enough to move out of that No. 1 spot. So to see how -- it would be interesting to see how he starts when he does come back and see if he's going to have the same kind of buzz and excitement around his golf when he comes back to play.

Q. What about as a person?
IAN POULTER: It's not really for me to comment on that, really.
STEVE TODD: Best of luck tomorrow. Thanks a lot.

End of FastScripts

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