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May 22, 2011

Ian Poulter


STEVE TODD: Many congratulations, it's been a long, hard week, you've battled through to the end there, but you have the trophy sitting there next to you. Illustrious names on there and yours to add to it. Just describe today and how you feel.
IAN POULTER: Very special day. Obviously my little boy's seventh birthday, Luke. I spoke to him today, and you know, he said to me, first thing he said to me at lunch time -- actually it was probably about half six in the morning. And he said, "Can I have the trophy for my birthday, please, Daddy?"
And I said I'd try my best and I did. I didn't play great this afternoon. I hit a lot of poor shots. I think I was tired. Luke hit a couple of poor shots and I think he was tied but I hit the right shots at the right time and managed to obviously get the upper hand on the match.
Key turnaround was a huge putt I holed on 12, I think it was, the par 3. That was kind of unexpected but great to hole that and obviously chipping it stiff on 14, Luke obviously missed a short putt on 15, which kind of got me out of jail really, and then obviously I hit it stiff on the next. So just very happy.
STEVE TODD: You're the first player to win both the Accenture Match Play and now the Volvo World Match Play, pretty impressive match-play record you've got there.
IAN POULTER: Yeah, can we play 20 match-play events a year, please? (Laughing).
It's a nice record. I don't know what it is about match play. I'm not sure. I've tried to work it out before and I haven't been able to. I just love it. I think I get more adrenaline. I think I get more up for it. And so I need to change that into -- I need to change that into stroke play, but yeah, match play has been pretty solid the last few years.

Q. Did you lose your ball marker when you fell over?
IAN POULTER: I did, yeah. I didn't know at the time. I lost it twice today actually. Once then, obviously when I was sitting down in the ditch.
I got to the 9th green, went in the pocket for it and it wasn't there. So had a little panic. So I asked Andy if he could send someone down there and luckily enough it was still in the ditch and got it back.
Then I jumped in the car from 17 to get to 18, and I was just being interviewed, asked about me the coin, and I had lost it again; it was in the back of the car. So I'm going to tuck it away safely.

Q. Did it prove a lucky omen on the 12th with that 45 footer?
IAN POULTER: It's just nice to have in the bag. It's got my kids names on it and obviously with it being Luke's birthday, I really wanted to finish out the round with it.
So you know, it's brought me luck in the past. It's brought me a little bit of unlucky in the past, as well, at Dubai but you know what, it's staying in the bag.

Q. Did it hurt when you slipped?
IAN POULTER: No. Absolutely fine.

Q. Just messed your clothes?
IAN POULTER: I think the clothes are more hurt than I am.

Q. What about the dignity?
IAN POULTER: I'm not worried about that (laughs).

Q. You've beaten world No. 1 and world No. 2 over two days; that must be deeply satisfying.
IAN POULTER: Very satisfying. Obviously you know to win yesterday against Lee, was huge. I knew he was going to play well. I knew he was in great form, so to come through that, to come through that match, and the way I did, you know, I hole putts, and you have to hole putts to win golf tournaments. I haven't done it this year and obviously I did it against Lee.
And if you are going to hole putts, you're going to be hard to play against. And I did exactly the same against Luke. And obviously Nicolas, I holed putts at the right time and you have to do that, so I'm very happy.

Q. What was the most satisfying hole today, the 18th against Nicolas, or the winning putt?
IAN POULTER: I'm not sure. There was quiver. I mean, there was some turning points obviously, hitting shots stiff when I had to, holing 50-foot putt when I had to, but obviously -- I think 18. I mean, there's been a number during the week. I've played 18 really, really well. And I think I've had the upper hand there.
It's not -- it doesn't favour me; it favours some of the longer boys that can get there in two, but I've just been stubborn and I've played to my game plan and hit it down there to 90 yards and I've had pretty much a 90-yard shot, albeit 18 downwind. I've hit it on my number and made a lot of birdies.

Q. You seem to take a little extra time and talk a little extra with your caddie -- was that a conscious tactic?
IAN POULTER: On which hole?

Q. Every hole.
IAN POULTER: Every shot? If I had of done, we'd still be out there.

Q. Is there a reason --
IAN POULTER: It's match play. It's match play. You know what, this is a tough golf course. You short-side yourself, or you get the wrong club, you're going to hand a hole to your opponent. So I didn't notice it was outrageously long.

Q. Not saying it was out ranges, just seemed longer than normal than what you do in stroke play?
IAN POULTER: Might be, but it's match play.

Q. You've come up the hard line and worked hard to get to where you are in the game -- do you enjoy proving people wrong --
IAN POULTER: I don't mind it.

Q. Do you it like it?
IAN POULTER: I think it's fine. Yeah, I wasn't, you know, the best amateur; I played off 4. When I hear a few comes, I kind of want to -- I kind of want to play well to putt those people -- put those people right.
I mean I might not swing it the best in the world. I probably wasn't given as much talent as everyone else, or some other people, but, do you what, I manage to get the job done and that's what counts. If you're going to hole putts at the right time, hit the right shot at the right time, then you know what, you're going to be hard to play against and you're going to win a few tournaments, and that's all it's about.
You know, it doesn't have to be picture perfect. You just have to get the job done.

Q. Does it give you great satisfaction that you've done it today?
IAN POULTER: Sure. Massive. Massive. I said it in the interview earlier in the week, actually; the season has been poor. I haven't been in the best of form. But I felt as if I played well.
So I've been too hard on myself in the early part of the season getting very frustrated with my game and there's been no reason because I've played so good at Augusta. So why have I be getting that frustrated.
You know, I'm very hard on myself and I want to perform. And when I don't perform, I'm very hard. So I just have to lighten up a little bit at times, and see the funny side of it. I put some extra work in this week on the range, on the putting green.
Actually, I had a session with Mark Roe this week, he was kind of trying to help me out as well because he could see how frustrated I was getting. You know, Mark's spent a good hour with me when he was probably just in passing. He could see I was getting frustrated, but he tried to help me. He's definitely helped me this week. So a huge thanks to Mark for giving me an hour of his time.

Q. Do you ever feel the --
IAN POULTER: Yeah, I mean, it gets the adrenaline going more, that's for sure. It gets me going more if you're just out there making birdies winning an easy match, that's great. But it's nice to have a good tussle.

Q. In the last two days, you've beaten the No. 1 and the No. 2 golfers in the world, and the No. 2 who could have been the No. 1; are you the No. 1 golfer in the world right now?
IAN POULTER: Well, I had slipped to No. 22 in the world, so the goal was to hole a few more putts and start moving in the right direction. So I guess the direction's going where I want it to, now.
So, let's see what we can do. There's some great players in the world right now: Westwood, Donald, Kaymer, etc., etc., there's so many. To win with so many World Ranking points, then you know, it's going to push me nicely back up there. So I need to continue this form. I need to go into Wentworth somewhat rested, and try and play well around the golf course that I have not had a lot of success around.
But you know, if I put the way I do, then you know what, there's nothing to say I can't go all the way.

Q. What is your opinion about Seve, you have always been saying very nice things about Seve, has he inspired you, and when I saw you holding the trophy for the first time there, you went Seve, Seve, Seve, and you read his name?
IAN POULTER: I mean, Seve means a lot to everybody in Europe to be honest. What he's done for the game of golf is incredible. I was a huge Seve fan growing up as a kid.
Whenever I went to Wentworth, whenever I went to a Ryder Cup, I would always follow Seve, because he was just so fun to watch. He had a lot of charisma. He just had something about him that a lot of -- something special. We all love to watch Seve hit balls and I was lucky enough to play with him a couple of times, and you know, he amazed me, like he amazed everybody else. And obviously last week was very sad to see him pass, but everybody remembers the best of Seve, and he was a very special person.
It means a lot for me to win this trophy, which Seve has been on it five times. It's just lovely to put my name in amongst tournaments that Seve has won.
STEVE TODD: Congratulations.

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