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May 17, 2012

Ian Poulter


STEVE TODD:   Ian thanks for joining us again.  Good stretch on the back nine.
IAN POULTER:  It was fun.  Yesterday I said John was going to be a very steady opponent, and he was on front nine.  I think he made nine straight pars.  I took advantage of the par5 third hole, and I think if anything, on the next hole with driving it in the water, I think he played a little bit too safe.  It's a drivable par 4 and he should have tried to knock it on;  he didn't, he laid up and he missed his birdie putt, and I took advantage there to try and make a good halve; I did.
I birdied 9, as well, to go 2‑up, and then we had a bit of fun around the back nine.  You know, he looked out of position on the par5, early on the back nine, he had to chip‑in on the right of the green.  And there's kind of a bank to the far left side of that green, which you can play off of.  He didn't hit a good chip shot, left it 25 foot, but he rolls it in, I miss mine; so a typical halve there. 
Two holes later, same thing.  He hits his in the hazard.  I get a bit lucky with the tee shot, hit it to 30 feet.  He lays up, hits a chip shot to 20 feet, he holes, I miss my putt, halve that hole.
He rolls a 25‑footer in on 14.  I missed kind of a 15‑foot birdie putt there to halve that hole, and I guess pretty pleased to hole a 35‑footer on 15 to kind of go 3‑up with three to play and closed it out on 15.

Q.  When you're playing stroke play, are you ever aware of what your partners are doing?  Match play, you're just going for every shot you play.
IAN POULTER:  Yeah, I think you can't remember everybody's shot you play with, but that's the fun of match play I guess is it's as much as you're trying to make birdie on every hole, when your opponent is in a bit of trouble, you do try and take any silly mistakes out of play.
But you should fully expect for him to hole a chip shot or a bunker shot or hole a 30‑foot putt.  That was the fun of the back nine for me.  It was typical match‑play golf.  It just shows you, you should never expect to be given a hole.

Q.  Did you play much match play as an amateur?
IAN POULTER:  No.  None.

Q.  So when would you have played your first sort of‑‑
IAN POULTER:  Well, I guess against my brother to be honest.  That's probably about it.  There was no competitive match play.  But I mean, I wanted to beat him whether it was‑‑ didn't matter.  It's about winning.  So I think the match‑play thing is kind of irrelevant; whether it was a game of football or a game of pool; I played match play in everything it was I was doing.  But in golf terms, no, I didn't play any match‑play golf.

Q.  If there was an actor playing match play‑‑
IAN POULTER:  Yeah, I think there's a way to play, which it puts you under pressure, but sometimes you have to stand up and hit a shot that you probably wouldn't think about hitting.
Prime example, I hit it in the water on 4.  If it was me, I would have had a go at the green.  It's a good target and a good yardage for him, I would have thought, but he didn't, he decided to take an easy option, take any mistake out of play.  But I'm going to be 120 yards away from the hole, and I'm going to have a good chance to make four.  He should have tried to make an easy three and win that hole.  So that's the fun of match play.

Q.  Just wanted to concentrate when you were a young pro, compared to Tom, now he's a young pro, because he's played so much match play, obviously when you're top of the amateur thing, you do all of that.  Would he be‑‑ where you would have been, if you see what I mean‑‑
IAN POULTER:  I mean, he's winning‑‑ how many tournaments did he win last year?  He won Portugal.  I was still stuck in the shop.  So, yeah, in terms of years, he's way, way above from where I was.  I wasn't even thinking of winning European Tour events at his age.

Q.  You're off tomorrow morning?

Q.  Are you cheering for him ‑‑
IAN POULTER:  I understand the format.  Yeah, for sure, if he wins, we play the one or two seed.  So it would be very helpful if he did that, yeah.  Makes my game in the afternoon a little easier.

Q.  Since he won the Portuguese Masters and he struggled a bit; was that inevitable, after breaking through so quickly?
IAN POULTER:  I mean, I've spoke to him a bit about it.  He's a good friend.  I think he's a great player.  I think he's very shy; he's very quiet.  That, to me is probably the bit that he needs to try and change, in a way.  He's a lovely lad.  My advice to him is to be a bit more confident, be a bit more out there to be able to push himself to the next level.
He's just very shy.  He's very, very shy.  There's not many people I guess that he knows even still today, so he's kind of in that kind of cloud in the background of who did you hang around with, who do you know, he doesn't know many people really.  He's friends what lot of people, but what is a good core group of people he should really be hanging about with to feed off of.

Q.  Justin probably was a bit like that, and he has you, and he went on The Challenge Tour.
IAN POULTER:  Well, I guess so, but I was in a similar position.  I just had a slightly different mind‑set I guess.
So, yeah, I had a couple of really good friends out there that I really got on great with, and you know, I think I've been fairly similar my whole career in terms of how I've felt once I've come out on Tour.  I just think he's a little quiet, he's a little shy, and as soon as he comes out of that box, again, I think he'll be great.

Q.  Is that a disadvantage in match play?
IAN POULTER:  Well, he's got a good match‑play record in amateur golf.  Well, yeah‑‑ we'll see tomorrow, won't we.  He's a good player.  I'm not going to say it's going to be an easy match at all.  It's not going to be.  He's a great player.  He's a winner on Tour.  So anybody on their given day, they play well, they are going to beat their opponent.

Q.  Have you played with him?
IAN POULTER:  Yeah, I've played with him.  I've played with him in a practise round at The Open.  In fact, he actually carried my golf bag, a good friend of mind, Daniel Field, who is a very good friend of his, showed me a picture‑‑ this is going back several years.  Going back to 2001, I think it was, he won in Garden City and he was carrying my bags and Tom would have been then‑‑ that's 11 years ago.  I think it was 2001, and yeah, he showed me his picture‑‑ I think I was playing a golf day, a local golf day in Garden City I was doing‑‑ all these young pups popping up; great.
He's a great guy.  When you look at how good he is now, only 21, his potential is endless, really.  He could go on and do very good things.

Q.  What are the dangers of being shy, quiet, whatever?  Why would that hold him back?
IAN POULTER:  Because I think you need to be confident out here.  I think you need to feel like you belong out here, and I think even though he won, if I'm honest, I feel like he doesn't feel like he's really‑‑ I mean, he's just quiet.  The way he is‑‑ you've seen him.
He's a winner, and he should continue to win golf tournaments, so he shouldn't feel like‑‑ it was no surprise to me to see him win.  So he should feel proud of that.  He should get respect for that at his age for winning so young and he should come out and be confident and walk with his chest out and go win some more golf tournaments.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
IAN POULTER:  I haven't, no.  To know what it's like to feel nervous‑‑ that's exactly how you'll feel.
I will never consider‑‑ absolutely not.  Would I help someone in psychology?  I mean, I would certainly mentor somebody.  I feel my psychology is pretty good to be honest.  I think I've got a fairly good understanding of doing my own kind of coaching, whatever it was, in terms of I very rarely take lessons.
So I've kind of done it all myself, really, with a little bit of help of Paul Duncan in terms of sports psychology.  He's not a sports psychologist; he's a businessman, but there's so many similarities between business, good businessmen and psychology; they can read people, they can understand things, they can rationalise things very well.  When you are able to put stuff in those boxes and rationalise it, then you can go out and be free.  That's a good part of what sports psychology is all about.

Q.  Inaudible.
IAN POULTER:  For sure.  And that's the whole confidence factor.  Doesn't matter if you are not hitting good shots.  If you believe, you can hit the next shot good, and hole the next putt, then it doesn't make any difference.  That's what Seve had.  He had that.

Q.  You lost the first round in Arizona, didn't you, this year?

Q.  Were you nervous about today?
IAN POULTER:  Not really.  I don't get nervous.  I get really tired.  So I just‑‑ it's very refreshing to get back to match‑play golf.  I mean, I'm really disappointed, really, really disappointed‑‑ how do I pronounce his name‑‑ Bae.  Bae played okay.
That's what was so frustrating.  I kind of beat myself that day.  Not taking anything away from him, but didn't play great.  He just played okay, and okay on the day was good enough to beat me.  That's what was really disappointing.  And obviously I wouldn't want to have done that today.  John is a really good player, and I wanted to go out there and go out and win that match.

Q.  Inaudible.
IAN POULTER:  No, I have spoke to him because I've got to know him really well, and I know that he doesn't have that many people out here that can help him out.  So I think of him as a friend.  Daniel Field, who has helped him a lot through the years, has been a really good friend of mine.
So I feel that any advice that I can give to Tom, I mean, he's 15 years younger than me, so he's going to be around 20 years after I finish my golf.  So it will be good to see him plenty of golf tournaments and plenty of Ryder Cups and going out there and being the strong golfer that he should be.
STEVE TODD:  Thanks, Ian.

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