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March 24, 2012

Ian Poulter


Q.  Give us the evaluation and characterize this round in the third round.
IAN POULTER:  Four birdies and an eagle is exactly what you're after out there.  It's a tough golf course and the pins are tucked away and the greens are getting firmer, so quite difficult to get at some of those and you had to take your chances when you got them.  Nice 35‑foot putt for eagle at 4; birdie 6; hit a nice shot into 10 and rolled that in, and obviously birdie on 15 and 16 was very helpful.

Q.  8‑under headed to the final 18; evaluate the prospects, a lot of big names on the leaderboard.
IAN POULTER:  Sure, there's some major champions on that board, so tomorrow is going to be another tough day.  The greens are going to firm out again and obviously tricky pin positions.  I think it's be patient, take your chance when you get them and we'll see what comes tomorrow.

Q.  What's it like being in Mr. Palmer's tournament?
IAN POULTER:  It's great to be here this week.  Bay Hill and Arnie, it's great week.  All of the great work he does for charity; for me to be 20 minutes down the road and come out and play, it's a very special week.

Q.  How good are you playing right now?
IAN POULTER:  I'm playing very nicely.  I think today was a great round of golf.  The only blemish I had was a 3‑putt from 30 feet which was frustrating.
But to hole a nice 35‑foot putt on 4 for eagle and then birdie 6, lovely second shot into 10, rolled that in for birdie, and then obviously great birdie 15 and obviously birdieing the par5.  No real dramas, wasn't really out of position at all and very, very solid round of golf.

Q.  This golf course doesn't allow you to go crazy aggressive, a lot of water hazards; knowing you'll be four or five shots from the lead, does that change your strategy?
IAN POULTER:  This is a tricky golf course.  I think you have to play it sensibly and try and take your chances when you get them.  The 5s are reachable, so therefore, it makes the golf course scorable.  You've got some key second shots into those holes where, as you said, there's some water around this golf course.  Play sensible, play smart.  Obviously Tiger has got a few‑shot lead right now, but obviously there's 18 holes tomorrow.

Q.  Does it make difference as far as the leader, a gap from the greatest closer of all time than someone else?
IAN POULTER:  I'm only in control of my golf ball.  So I will steer my golf ball around this golf course tomorrow, have some fun and see what happens.

Q.  Do you have Augusta on your mind at all right now?
IAN POULTER:  No, I don't have Augusta on my mind at all and I won't have until next Monday.  Obviously a week off next week to practice the right shots for Augusta, so yeah, preparation in mind for Augusta Monday onwards.  There's an exciting day of golf yet this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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