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January 26, 2011

Ian Poulter


SCOTT CROCKETT: Ian, thanks, as always, for coming in and joining us. Welcome to Bahrain and welcome to the Volvo Golf Champions. Before we start on this week, just reflect on last week. Not the start to 2011 you would have wanted. Just one bad round to start you off?
IAN POULTER: Yeah, obviously not how I wanted to start 2011 in Europe. I played well in Maui. And I didn't drive it great on Thursday. That put me in a few awkward positions. I think I missed seven fairways and I couldn't reach seven of the greens from the fairways I missed. So consequently, I was out of position and it was difficult to make pars.
Had some work to do on Friday. Played nicely, but obviously come up one short. So yeah, that's not quite how I would have liked to have start, but we're here now, onwards and upwards.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Did the weekend involve practise on the range?
IAN POULTER: I went to the range and played lovely, and then I played Saadiyat for Gary Player's day on Monday and made 12 birdies. That's the fun of the game we play.
SCOTT CROCKETT: And you were out there today. How was the form today?
IAN POULTER: The form's fine. I'll be re-booted and re-programmed for tomorrow and come out ask be fine.

Q. Paul Casey said that Monty is going to get a little bit of schtick for the course. What do you make of it?
IAN POULTER: I think visually the golf course is very nice to be honest. I think the greens are unique. So you know, someone has to win on Sunday.

Q. Have you ever missed seven fairways before?

Q. Not often.
IAN POULTER: I've been playing exceptionally well in the last few years, but the fairways were tightened, and some of the tee boxes obviously were lengthened last week. Martin was playing a different golf course to everyone else. But yeah, I've missed a few fairways, but it's usual to miss seven fairways and not be able to read a green. That's kind of what you might expect at a U.S. Open.
But you know what, that's what you get sometimes.

Q. Could you tell us over the years, the last, say, five year, how much length hitter, so you have put on?
IAN POULTER: I wouldn't say very much at all to be honest.

Q. Leadbetter would say it was a lot, though.
IAN POULTER: I might have put 15 yards on on the tee, which I don't think is a huge amount. I actually haven't done the stats to be honest. I haven't had a look since 2000 what my driving average was till now. It's not something that I look at. I mean, I'd like to be 30 yards longer than I am but not.

Q. Is there more length that you think you'll be able to put on?
IAN POULTER: Yeah, I would think I might be able to put on some more length, yeah, before obviously I start getting shorter again; before age catches up to me.

Q. You were very critical of golf rules on Twitter, saying that they were a word that began with b and ended in x; is Twitter just sort of the right carrier for that? Would you be as critical if I asked you now what do you think of golf rules? And what do you think of Pádraig Harrington's sort of disqualification, and are you suggesting that they may amend the rules?
IAN POULTER: If you look at a number of the scenarios and situations that we've had in the last 12 months, I think a lot of rules certainly need to be re-looked at for sure. I think there's no common sense involved with a number of the rules, so that needs to be addressed. Jack Nicklaus said it last week himself.
It's about time they readdress some of those rules to see if it actually makes this game stay the great game it is, because it does look silly at times.

Q. Has there been any approach to you at any point about what you write on Twitter, or is it accepted for what it's meant to be?
IAN POULTER: What do you mean?

Q. Disciplinary-wise. As a footballer, if you talked about rules or referees in that way, you would be sort of disciplined.
IAN POULTER: Are you implying anything?

Q. No, just wondering, is anyone saying anything to you?
IAN POULTER: Twitter is there for everybody to enjoy. Opinions are opinions, right or wrong. Everybody's entitled to their own.

Q. What would you do about that rule?
IAN POULTER: What rule?

Q. The one where a guy can get disqualified on the basis.
IAN POULTER: You know, I think the way the game of golf has gone in the last few years, you know, I just think the signature on the scorecard really doesn't make that much of a difference to be honest. Every shot is visible for everybody to see on television, on -- we have walking scorers, there's stats people. Therefore, it's not like you can cheat your score.
So therefore, it does, there for leave the door open if someone has made a mistake, without them realising, and that needs to be re-addressed; if they get a two-shot penalty, they are still in the tournament. The tournament is still a benefit with having some of the world's best players in the field.
Last week Pádraig played great the first day, and therefore, he's missing for the rest of the week, and I think that's a shame to the tournament, such a great tournament like that, and he can't finish the job off.

Q. Have you been subject to trial by video yourself?

Q. Anything in a tournament.
IAN POULTER: No. You know, I mean, there's only half the field that actually do get that. So is it fair the other half? No.

Q. Can I ask you about the course, you won the Match Play on a sort of desert-like course, I know this is straight-play format, but do you find any sort of comfort in this sort of desert layout like this, or is it totally different to that Tucson course?
IAN POULTER: I mean, I think this is very different. There's some elevation change. In Tucson, it plays a very different golf course to how this plays, so it's difficult to kind of say, this is a good preparation for going there.
I mean, you know, I would mentally look at preparation for this week and preparation for the Match Play. To be honest, I don't even see the desert. That isn't part of the golf course that I feel is in play or should be in play, if you do hit it in the desert, then you're off-line.
So really, I mean, it could be anywhere. If you take the outline of the fairways and the greens in the tee boxes, you could put them anywhere and that's the only thing I'm focusing on.

Q. The World Ranking situation is very interesting.

Q. You were sort of hauled over the coals a few years ago for saying that you would be No. 2 to Tiger eventually, and now everybody I suspect everybody has the opportunity to be No. 1 now.
IAN POULTER: I don't think everybody, but if you look at perhaps maybe the Top 15 or 20 players in the world that carry enough points right now that, where if they had a spell of six months or four months where they played exceptionally well, won a couple of big tournaments, yeah, there is a chance that they could put themselves in that No. 1 position.

Q. Does it change the way you look at things? Do you think of world No. 1 now as a target?
IAN POULTER: I think everybody in the Top-50 in the world is looking to say, wow, if we have a good couple of years; and the guys in the Top 15 can say, if I have a good couple of months, I can put myself in that position. I didn't think it was possible a couple of years ago, Tiger was eight or nine points ahead of Phil. In my eyes that wasn't really a realistic goal, but it is now.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Ian, thanks, as always. Good luck this week.

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