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May 16, 2012

Ian Poulter


STEVE TODD:  Many thanks for joining us.  Welcome back here as defending champion.  I'm sure you've got some happy memories from last year, everything we have come to associate with you in match play you showed last year.  Just your thoughts on defending this week.
IAN POULTER: Very much looking forward to getting going.  I mean, match play, as you know, is one of the games which I love to play.  I love the buzz of it.  I love the fact that the holes tick away pretty quickly, and I like looking straight at the guys you're playing.
I just like the buzz you get from it.  It kind of puts you under pressure, and it's a great format, which we don't play enough of.
STEVE TODD:  Your first up Tom against John Senden and then Tom Lewis.  Your thoughts on the draw.
IAN POULTER:¬† John is a very consistent player, plays on the PGA TOUR mainly.¬† Yeah, he's very consistent.¬† He hits a lot of greens in regulation.¬† I think that's why he's been probably Top‑5 greens in reg for the last couple of years.¬† He will be a guy you will need to go out there and be patient, and try to pick your birdies.
Tom is obviously a great young talent, winning last year, he's going to be an exciting player in the future and one that's going to be hard to play against this week.

Q.¬† How many match‑play events do you think there ought to be?
IAN POULTER:  25.  (Laughter).
I don't know, it's hard with the schedule.¬† But I love match play.¬† There's something about it, which is kind of exciting.¬† And you know, I really enjoy every match‑play event we get to play.
You know, there are a few we get but it's few and far between.  So it kind of spreads itself out in the season.  I mean, to qualify for this event, especially being a Ryder Cup year, it would be important for me to have a big week this week.  So the more match play we get to play, the better.

Q.  Inaudible.
IAN POULTER:¬† I think so.¬† I think so.¬† We do incredibly well in Ryder Cup considering how few match‑play events we actually really play.¬† But I guess there's different reasons for that.

Q.¬† Is stroke‑play boring?
IAN POULTER:  Golf is never boring.  It's a great job.

Q.¬† Does it get boring?¬† If it's a grind‑‑‑‑
IAN POULTER:¬† I just think match‑play plays out better on TV to be honest.¬† I think guys enjoy it more.¬† I think it brings out the best in golf in everybody.¬† So because it's more exciting, generally most other sports, it's kind of one‑on‑one really.¬† And that's why it kind of looks better on TV that way.
I never get bored with playing golf.  I try and pick a schedule where I'm not going to be bored.  If I played 40 weeks a year, I would be pretty board.  I try to limit it to 25 for that reason.

Q.  Justin was in earlier and he was saying you have got the knack of match play, and we asked him what that was, and he said it's the ability to hole clutch putts.  Could you add to that?
IAN POULTER:¬† I mean, I get excited to play match play.¬† I like the fact of playing one‑on‑one with somebody.¬† I like the pressure of you have to hole a putt to win the hole or you have to hole a putt to halve the hole, or you have to hole a putt to make your opponent to hole his putt to halve the hole.
So I guess it's pretty cutthroat.¬† You have to do something. ¬†It's black and white.¬† If you miss, you lose the hole, dead simple.¬† I like the fact of having been put under that pressure so you know exactly what you have to do, where stroke play just doesn't give you that mind‑set, at all.

Q.  A bit of a hiccup coming over from the States, missed a connection?
IAN POULTER:  I didn't miss any connection.  My luggage missed the airplane.

Q.  You're not the only one, there's a couple of guys.
IAN POULTER:  It's here actually, surprisingly; the worst thing for me is my clothes go missing than my golf clubs.

Q.  Have you played much against John?
IAN POULTER: I've played with him a bit in the States to be honest, so I certainly know his game pretty well.  I've never played with him in match play, so I guess that's going to be something slightly different.  I know him as a player.  I know how good of a player he is.  I know what to expect on the golf course tomorrow.

Q.  Have you got your clothes back yet?
IAN POULTER: No.  But the good thing about having an office in the U.K. and a good team behind you, is you can make a mayday call and they can pop down to Woburn Golf  Club and pick up some stuff with nice logos all over it, put it in a bag and give it somebody to jump on a plane to fly here to get ready for today.  That's a little plus, and my suitcase should be here tonight.

Q.  Are you happy with your wardrobe?
IAN POULTER:  Of course, I'm happy with any IJP outfit.

Q.¬† Just going back to your preference for match play, is that a format you would like to see in the Olympics?¬† The original plan was it was going to be 72‑hole stroke play.¬† And what's your thoughts on golf in the Olympics, and should it be there?
IAN POULTER: I mean, it's nice that it's going to be brought into the Olympics.  I think if you're given the opportunity to try and go win a gold medal, it would be an incredible thing to do. I think any sportsman or anybody that plays sport always follows the Olympics pretty carefully.
So I think it's a good addition.¬† Whether it's match play or stroke play, I think it probably should be match play, in my opinion.¬† I don't know where they are with their decision making on that or whether it's set in stone what they are going to do, but I think a match‑play format would suit the Olympics better than a stroke‑play event.

Q.  When you see names that turn down the chance to play here, is your first thought, good for me, or bad for the tournament?
IAN POULTER: A bit of both.  I mean, we would love the top 24 players in the world or however their qualification criteria got set, we like the strongest field possible.  But as we all know, I mean, schedules are difficult and there's so many tournaments to play both sides of the pond, it makes it difficult for everyone to come and play.
But I mean, it is a big tournament for me.  It's a big tournament to come and play.  Obviously playing in it the first time last year was great and obviously winning was fantastic.
You know, match play, doesn't matter whether the player is the No. 1 ranked player in the world or whether he's the number 50 ranked player in the world.  Match play is match play and you get upsets every single time; the number of top seeds that go out to the lower seed player, often.
For the tournament, it would be great if every top player was here, but it's difficult, and I understand it, schedules are schedules.  But I'm certainly looking at it as a week to be able to go out there and play well.
I mean, it gives you a great opportunity to play well in a few matches to get through to the end, so you really do have to try and concentrate properly, and every shot is important this week to try and win this event.

Q.  If you win, it's a pretty tough thing to do, the number of matches you have to play, and then you have to go to the Flagship Event; do you think it's a disadvantage?
IAN POULTER: I don't think it's ever a disadvantage to win a golf tournament, especially not a big one.

Q.  Are you shattered by the time you get to Wentworth?
IAN POULTER: To be honest, I think there's as many‑‑ is there as many World Ranking points?¬† There's probably not quite as many points in this obviously because it's a shortened field.¬† But in terms of how many points it would put on the board for The Ryder Cup, I think the purses are similar‑ish, so I don't think it makes much difference.
Certainly, there's a lot of golf to play this week to get through to the final; but, you should be able to raise your game enough‑‑ certainly, if you go all the way and win, you should be able to fire up again the following week.¬† You should be feeling confident and you should be feeling good.¬† All right, you might be tired, but I guess you can rest up pretty good for a big tournament.

Q.  Speaking of resting up, did you get to rest at your house for one night?

Q.  How many hours of sleep did you get?
IAN POULTER: Not many.  I guess I got to sleep at probably one o'clock, 1.30 and I was unboxing boxes until late and got up early in the morning and got the kids ready for school and was unboxing boxes again.  It was nice to get in, the family are in, my mom is over there and my grandma and granddad arrived yesterday, so they are out there enjoying it with the kids.

Q.  How disappointing not to continue like you started last week?
IAN POULTER: Hugely disappointing.¬† I guess I didn't know what to expect.¬† I knew I was in good form, but to get off to that much of a flying start, I don't normally‑‑ I don't normally drop backwards too far once I'm up there in contention.
Yeah, I was very frustrated, but it's a golf course that can do it to you to be honest.¬† If there's a course or a tournament that can turn pretty quickly on you, it's definitely TPC.¬† I didn't think get off to the best of starts on Friday‑‑ double‑bogey on my first hole and double‑bogey on [] the fourth hole of the day was not the best of starts really, so I kind of hung in there pretty good.
But 25 putts day one and 35 putts day two, three and four roughly wasn't good. The putter went cold the last three days, which was a shame.  Even taking into consideration the bad round on Friday, even with the play that I played on the weekend, I still would have had a chance.

Q.  Do you feel different in a Ryder Cup year to any other year?  You obviously want to make sure you're definitely on the team.
IAN POULTER:  Not really.  I mean, I want to make the side more than ever.  Ollie is going to be an incredible captain and it's certainly a side that I really want to make.  But I treat every tournament the same.  Just because it's a Ryder Cup year doesn't mean I try any harder than I do in any other tournament.
I'm trying to win every tournament I play, but I guess as the year rolls on, if you're just outside the numbers, it's on your mind that you have to play well to make the side.  I'm just outside the points right now, so, yeah, I have a time frame and a number of events which I need to play well in to make the side.  So I'm fully aware of what I need to do.

Q.¬† You have cancelled the order for the Rolls‑Royce, have you, but the good news is you win a Volvo ‑‑
IAN POULTER:¬† I do have a Rolls‑Royce.¬† I haven't cancelled any order for a Rolls‑Royce.

Q.  I'm sorry, that was misquoted.
IAN POULTER:  No, it was a Ferrari, an Enzo.  I have got an Enzo, but it's a puppy dog, which a nice consolation.

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