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May 18, 2012

Ian Poulter


STEVE TODD:  I'm sure it's a different mind‑set slightly when you know you are through for both players, but it was a good match on the front nine, and you raised the level on the back and a 4 & 3 victory is quite comfortable in the end?
IAN POULTER:  Yeah, in terms of adrenaline and being 100 percent switched on, I don't think either of us were 100 per cent switched on.  So I guess it was hard to get that adrenaline rush that you normally get in match play.  I went up early.  It was a classic encounter on the fourth hole.  I've hit driver just right of the green and just chipping across the green.  So he's hit in the water and he's hitting in the drop zone and probably has 120 yards and flies it straight in the cup without bouncing.  I hit a chip eight foot past, he wins the hole after hitting in the hazard.  That's just good old match play.
It was all‑square, lost a couple of holes towards the end of the front nine to get it all‑square and I pressed away early into the back nine.  To be honest, I think Tom playing 36 holes today, he was probably getting a little tired and wanting to get in.
It was a good match.  I like Tom.  We had good fun around the golf course.  Obviously tomorrow is important, find out who I'm going to be playing.
STEVE TODD:  You're defending champion; you have two more victories than what you had at this point last year, so you must be feeling confident again.
IAN POULTER:  I'm in a better position now than I was last year, not knowing if I was going to go through or not, so that's always very, very nice.  It's always nice to play well over the first couple of days, and I'll be going into the weekend with that mind‑set and rather than obviously playing okay.

Q.  Are you the sort that studies the draw and knows who might be next and who you would rather play?
IAN POULTER:  Well, if Hiratsuka wins his match, then it will be a playoff‑‑ so you have no idea.  I think he's 1‑up right now‑‑ Garcia is up.  So it looks like I'll obviously play Alvaro if it stays the way it is.
Sergio, or Alvaro, are both two tough matches.  It's in Spain; they feel at home; they are going to have a lot of support and are both good players.  Either one is going to be a tough match.

Q.  What have you been doing well with your game over these two days and what's pleased you the most?
IAN POULTER:  Driven the ball nicely and holed key putts at the right time, and that's obviously what I did last year throughout the weekend.  I holed nice putts and hit good shots but I definitely holed putts at the right time, and that's obviously the key to playing well in match play.

Q.  You've won this as you've won the other one; how much does stamina come into it this weekend, with the potential for four games in two days?
IAN POULTER:  Yeah, it's going to be difficult from now on.  I think stamina will be a part.  I mean, if you can finish your match early, it will certainly make you feel better than what I was doing last year.  Took every match down 18.
So that's obviously what you want to do, but obviously it's up to your opponent whether he's going to fight real hard or whether you're going to beat him.  So it is a fact that you do have to stay fresh for sure.

Q.  What do you do to improve your stamina short term?
IAN POULTER:  Be very fit.

Q.  And you feel very fit?
IAN POULTER:  I would say I feel healthy right now.  I'm still down in weight after pneumonia.  I'm still probably nine pounds light, which in some ways isn't too much of a problem.  Obviously carrying extra weight around that golf course on those hills is not good.  But I feel fine.  I feel fit, and I certainly feel fit enough and fresh enough to be able to go 36 on Saturday, Sunday; obviously golf dependent.

Q.  Why haven't you put the weight back on?
IAN POULTER:  Why haven't I?  I unfortunately lost quite a bit of muscle mass in that time, and you can't build muscle mass that quickly after losing it all.  And what weight you do put on is unfortunately fat, as opposed to muscle.  That's how my physio has broke it down in simple terms.
As soon as I can get back in the gym to do some decent recovery work in terms of pushing some weights and stuff, that's how you're going to putt the muscle back on really.  Just eating a lot of food doesn't put muscle on; it putts fat on.

Q.  Has it affected your swing?
IAN POULTER:  No, I don't think it has.  My timing is right and I haven't seen a drop on TrakMan when I've been hitting drivers.  Ball speed is still exactly the same.  Obviously I'm not quite as strong as way was, pre.

Q.  Are you just guessing that Tom probably didn't mind going‑‑
IAN POULTER:  No, he's playing 36 holes‑‑

Q.  He didn't say anything?
IAN POULTER:  No, he didn't say anything.  I mean, if I had his mind‑set, I would want to get it over and done to be honest with you.
It's a very strange situation to be in to be where you're going to go out there and you're going to play, and does he really want to be playing 36 holes in a day when he could potentially play 36 Saturday, Sunday?
I think we both wanted to win the match, but as soon as the match decided to start turning, to be honest, he probably wants to get in and rest up for an early morning.  He's had a long day today.  He's played a lot of golf.

Q.  Was the fact that you are both through, the lack of needle out there‑‑
IAN POULTER:  I think that there's probably more of a pride thing to be honest.  I want to win to continue a nice record.  In match play, it's obviously difficult with the adrenaline; there is no adrenaline there, and you play very different under adrenaline than what you do when there isn't.
So it is really hard to get really up for a full‑on scrap to be honest.  You try to birdie every hole, but if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen.  We had a lot of good fun out there, and hopefully he's relaxed and will play good tomorrow.

Q.  What is your desired weight?
IAN POULTER:  I was 185 to 185 and a half, and I'm down nine.  I had a test and I put some weight back on, but my body fat was up by a percent, as opposed to trying to switch it the other way.  After we had done the test in January, I would have liked to have dropped a little bit of weight and changed my body mass around a little bit, a little bit leaner, and I've actually done it the reverse way, which wasn't intended.

Q.  Just going back to the previous point, knowing that it might come down at the end of August between you and Tom for a wild card spot?
IAN POULTER:  There's lots of permutations isn't there, in between there.  It could come down to many things.  Hopefully I continue on the winning streak this week and I put myself in after the end of this week or next week.
But, you know, ifs and buts and aunties and uncles and all that good stuff.  Anything can happen, right?  But two days can change a lot of things in this format.  I mean, three players to beat, really, and things are very different.

Q.  What is it that you know‑‑
IAN POULTER:  I don't know.  I know it's pretty good.
STEVE TODD:  Thanks a lot, Ian.

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