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May 21, 2011

Ian Poulter


STEVE TODD: Ian, many thanks for joining us. Appreciate it been a long day out there. This morning, fantastic golf against Lee Westwood, world No. 1, and then a bit of a battle on your hands this afternoon, but you're through. Just reflect on the two fantastic games.
IAN POULTER: Sure. You know this, morning, playing with Lee, world No. 1, I was always going to have to play very well. I looked at how he played the last couple of days, and he played flawless to be honest. I think he was probably 13-under from what I picked up on the scores last night.
So I knew I had to play well, and I did. Didn't really make any mistakes. The only one I did bogey today was 15, and then obviously he took advantage of that.
But you know, good birdie on the last, very timely, and it was a hell of a match.
STEVE TODD: And then turning your attention to this afternoon, it was a pretty hard-fought game there. In many respects, turning point at 15.
IAN POULTER: Yeah, 15. Typical match-play moment. Frankie is probably 60 feet on front of the green, and I'm long left in a poor spot. We was both exactly 21 paces away from the pin.
So, yeah, 60 feet, and I was 60 feet left over the back of the green. I hit a chip to probably 15 feet. Frankie leaves his putt eight feet short.
I felt right then and there that that was going to be a huge momentum, if I can hole my putt; I did. And obviously Frankie missed his.
And then it was my go into 16 green first. I hit 9-iron, pretty much hit it stiff, and obviously Frankie didn't hit it that close. He left himself some work to do. He missed and all of a sudden, I'm 17 tee all-square.
I hit a lovely shot in there to about three feet and managed to win that hole, and I guess it was two pars at the last, really was good enough.
STEVE TODD: Tomorrow, your son's birthday, a nice present.
IAN POULTER: Yeah, I'm going to miss his birthday, his seventh birthday. I didn't miss it last year, but I'm going to miss it this year. I said to Terry on the way around, "Yeah, it would be nice to try and win a golf tournament on his birthday," so I've got this chance and hopefully I can take it.

Q. Coming off the 9th, you were not very happy with yourself. How long did it take to get yourself back on an even keel?
IAN POULTER: Unfortunately, too many holes. I was frustrated. I was obviously frustrated after giving Frankie the 7th hole. I pretty much gave him the 9th hole.
I got myself in position to win the 11th. I probably had four feet, and missed it. And then I hit a great shot into the next one, when obviously he was right of the green. Again, he chips it stiff; I miss my putt. So again, I was a little hot for a couple of holes after 9, but I managed to calm myself down I guess, and I managed to turn it around.

Q. You said lovely shot on 17 this afternoon; was it a lovely shot this morning, because Lee didn't think it was quite meant how it worked out.
IAN POULTER: I'll take it, put it this way. You know, I actually hit it -- I hit it exactly where I was putting from against Frankie on the first day. And in the yardage book, you can see, and I've actually drawn it with big arrows. If there was a back left pin and you do miss it a little left, it will come back it.
I mean, I wasn't trying to use left of the pin. I figured if I turned one over right-to-left and had it coming down on the pin, I'd be happy. I pulled it probably three yards. And obviously that means it's going to pitch on the edge of the green, and it did, which is what the yardage book was going to say it was going to do, and that was come back down.
But no, I didn't mean to use all of that slope. But sometimes you've got to take the rubs when you get them.

Q. Lee thought there were other breaks you got in the game. He was sort of -- he hit it great and he said you didn't hit it great, but you won.
IAN POULTER: Well, I can give you an example. I had five of the first six holes, I had less than 12 feet. Five of the first six holes, I had less than 12 feet to win the hole, on five of the first six. I didn't take advantage of any of those. And I also 3-putted the fourth to lose that hole. So I mean, after seven holes, I'm scratching my head to be honest. I was very frustrated.
I had a great opportunity -- I had a great chance at the 1st from eight feet. On the 2nd, I had a chance from probably eight feet. On the 3rd hole, I probably had ten feet. I 3-putt 4. And on the 5th hole, I can't even remember now. But I was working it out as I was going around. I had five out of the first six holes.

Q. So that's not doing you justice to say you didn't hit it great.
IAN POULTER: Well, I don't know what Lee said, but Lee played great. I mean, he played fantastic. And I was always going to have to play exceptionally well to beat him.
I can see, I mean, Lee hit two lovely shots on 11 the par 5, 627-yard par 5, and if I was Lee, I would be frustrated walking off that green. I hit a poor second shot, way right, right by the hazard, and I hole a magnificent putt for birdie to tie up that hole.
So, yeah, you have to take the rub of the green when you get it. But no, I shot 66 to win that match. That's golf. I mean, that's perfect match-play golf right there. Lee looked as if he was going to be taking that hole from me, and he didn't. So no, I mean, I played pretty damned good.

Q. What Lee said was that 'when you play Ian, you know what you're going to get,' he said, we know he doesn't hit the ball great, but he gets up-and-down from everywhere.'
IAN POULTER: I'm not going to get into no tennis match with Lee. I actually played lovely. I hit two bad shots -- I hit three bad shots in that whole round of golf. Every other shot I hit lovely.
So I mean, had I taken my chances in the first six holes, I would have been up in the game anyway. He didn't take those chances. Had Lee of taken a couple of chances on the par 5s, that he had, as well, then he would have -- would he have turned the match around. He didn't take his chances, and you know, but he still played great.
I mean, Lee is world No. 1. What do you expect from a world No. 1? He's going to hit it pretty damned good. He's going to hit a lot of greens, he's going to roll in a few putts, and he shot 67. He's 19-under for 45 holes, and unfortunately he's gone home but that's typical match play.
Match play sometimes causes an upset.

Q. People have questioned your ball-striking before. Is that something that gets on your nerves?
IAN POULTER: Have they? Really? (Laughter).

Q. Something you might never be able to escape. Do you think the 66 --
IAN POULTER: I'm really not bothered. I don't care to be honest.

Q. I know you said you don't want to get into a tennis match but specifically what Lee said, when asked that you ground out victories, he said: You just have to accept that's his game, you know he's not going to hit it great and you know he's going to make a lot of putts. Do you think he could have been perhaps slightly more gracious?
IAN POULTER: It really -- Lee will be very frustrated about being 19-under through 45 holes. And I'd be frustrated, as well. I guess, you know, I'm annoy to go play against in match-play format. I've proven that.
So whether I flush it, or whether I slightly miss-hit a couple of shots, if I rely on my short game, hopefully it's going to bring me through. And if I hole putts at the right time.
I haven't done it for four months, so I'm not going to sit here and start, you know, all welling up because I holed a few putts today. (Laughter).
I haven't holed a putt for four months, give me a break. Laugh will have.

Q. You're No. 1 in scrambling, aren't you, on the PGA TOUR?
IAN POULTER: Well, this year I'm not. I'm probably No. 1 at making scrambled eggs on at 6.00 on Saturday and Sunday morning. I have been in the past.

Q. You've got every right, haven't you, to say --
IAN POULTER: Well, I actually did play pretty well this morning. You know, I played very well this morning. I hit a couple of poor shots, and I got away with it a couple of poor shots. The one poor shot was a 3-wood, which really probably could have gone in the hazard. It didn't. It almost was in the hazard but I made an incredible up-and-down.
And I pull a 7-iron three yards on 17 and it manages to catch the ridge and come back down. It was flawless from there. I can say no more.

Q. What about the semifinal, looking forward to that?
IAN POULTER: I am looking forward to it, yeah. Looking forward to a nice dinner, as well.

Q. Have you played Nicolas Colsaerts before?
IAN POULTER: I played with him a few times, actually, Challenge Tour, I think in '99 I played with him. We go back a long time. Good player. Hits it a long way.
Again, you know, I'm sure he'll be taking advantage of his length from the par 5s, which on a couple of the par 5s, I haven't been able to. So I'll just have to rely on some short game I guess.

Q. You want to keep playing match play, I guess?
IAN POULTER: Yeah, I wouldn't mind playing about six of them a year. That would shorten my schedule down nicely.

Q. Try to change next week in match play?
STEVE TODD: Thank you.

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