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July 19, 2013
Q. How can you describe the demanding course today?
IAN POULTER: It was demanding, for sure. This wind, we
played it the opposite way in practice, and obviously it was going
to change a number of holes significantly, and that's exactly what
it did. Some of the easy holes yesterday were brutally tough
today and vice versa.
So obviously the course was going to continue to dry out,
no matter how much water they put on the greens last night. And
that's obviously what guys found difficult today. Conditions are
not easy. That easterly wind is a difficult wind to play in. And
it's hard to get it close to any of those pins. When the ball is
running as fast as it's running and as firm as the fairways are
short of the greens, which is where you're going to have to land
it, it's really difficult o predict how far the ball is going to
An example is on 15 today, I hit a sand iron that went
192 yards. I knew it had to get to 184, but not 192. It was fine
in the end, but it's hard to predict that, especially when you
can't land it anywhere near some of those greens, and you're
asking for the right bounce.
Q. Where is the fine line between what's fair and what's
not? Pretty tough, isn't it?
IAN POULTER: Well, yeah, it's tough. But I think we can
all play this golf course when the pin locations are in places
where you're not going to get called out for hitting a good putt
for 20 feet, I think is the honest answer to that.
50 feet on some holes is a really good shot into the
green. What we don't obviously want is a pin that's just sat on
the top of a little knoll. It's really, really hard to putt it to
a gimme range, really. That's all you're really doing from that
Today I think there was only one that was very dicey, to
be honest with you. It was late in the day. That was probably
15. I managed to two-putt it, so I'm over the moon. But Billy
Horschel hit a putt from 15 feet, which just missed the edge of
the hole and went 15 feet past.
They obviously put a little more water on the course than
they did yesterday, last night. And I think the guys this morning
probably enjoyed that. But obviously, you know, it was always
going to get firm this afternoon, and that's exactly what you saw.
IAN POULTER: Yeah, I mean it was a battle. I'll be
honest. I played some flawless golf around the font nine and got
a little out of position on the back nine. And I really managed
to hang in there. I hit some really good shots from the rough. I
hit some really good pace putts at the right time to keep myself
in it. I hit a lovely chip shot on 16, stiffed there. And a
lovely bunker shot on the last to a gimme range. So I'm happy
with obviously coming back the way I did on a golf course that's
IAN POULTER: Sure, yeah, I mean I've put myself in a
nice position. I was in a nice position 11 years ago. I was
lying 9th and I've actually got no idea where 1-over is lying
right now. But I'm sure it's lying pretty good right now.
Q. Tied for 11th.
IAN POULTER: So, I'm in a similar spot as to what I was
11 years ago, and I don't think I'm going to get blown off the
golf course tomorrow like I did.
So for me I'm going to enjoy the fact of getting out
there on a firm, fast golf course. It's challenging. It's
interesting. As I said, sometimes a sand wedge goes 192 yards.
Q. Where does that rank in terms of the circumstances and
the degree of difficulty in an Open Championship?
IAN POULTER: It's a good round. I think it's a good
round compared to the scores this afternoon. I don't know
where -- I haven't looked. I haven't even seen the scores. I
know a lot of guys have struggled out there. I would rate it as a
really good round of golf. I can't name it amongst the other good
rounds I've played. But it was a very good round of golf in those
Q. Do you believe in karma at all? What's going on around
here in the last few weeks with Andy Murray winning Wimbledon and
maybe one of you guys taking The Open?
IAN POULTER: Not really.
Q. It's a positive feeling, right?
IAN POULTER: The 11 guys in front of me aren't going to
fall over and let me win, are they? I have to play some good
golf, I know that much.
IAN POULTER: Well, they've got more time to prepare the
golf course. They've got more time to look at the pin locations
for the weekend. There's going to be half the footprints on the
greens. And where it gets awkward around the hole is where we'll
see it in a 15 feet circle around the hole, and not only do you
get players walking, you get caddies walking. So you're going to
get half of that tomorrow. What happens is when caddies work with
trainers, they're very, very flat soled. So every footprint they
put down burns out. When you've got soft spots or spikes you
don't get as much footprint on the green. So you're better in
soft spikes than trainers, sneakers.
So it's still going to be firm and fast. They can't
soften the golf course up too much. But we just need some
sensible pins and it will be playable. I mean, it's brutally
difficult to get it anywhere near a range where you feel
comfortable having a go at a putt from 15, 20, 40 feet. I mean,
you're on edge, because you don't want to roll it two foot past,
because two foot might be six foot, eight foot. You're always on
edge. It's difficult.
Q. A lot of people say, a lot of guys say fun is key to
playing well. Is it possible to have fun --
IAN POULTER: Yeah, it's fun in a sick, fun way.
Q. From a competitive standpoint, maybe, or not?
IAN POULTER: Yeah, you've got to suck it up, I guess.
It's the same for everybody. And unfortunately you've got to
grind through it. You don't have another option, if you want to
win to tournament. Then you've just got to press on, just keep
your head down and go on through it.
Q. Is this how you picture a classic links test?
IAN POULTER: It is a classic links test. I mean, you
know, it's very Hoylakeish in terms of conditions. That was burnt
out, just like this place is burnt out. It's very similar in that
respect. And you really don't need driver that much. So it's
playing very, very similar. But it is a classic links-type
Q. With everything you know about this golf course over two
days, what do you think about a number --
IAN POULTER: I'm not putting a number. I'd hate putting
numbers. I just hate it. I'd love to get to ten, how about that?
(Laughter). I don't know. I don't know. Because I don't know
where they're going to put the pins. I really don't. They can
make it slightly easier with easier pins. They can make it more
difficult with tough pins. We know the wind forecast for the
weekend is going to be coming out of the east.
So we just have to wait and see where they're going to
put the pins. I'm not predicting numbers. I'm just happy to
battle through it.
IAN POULTER: Look, I said enough about pins yesterday,
right, for you to ask me that question.
I said a minute ago Billy Horschel had a 15-foot putt and
rolled it 15 feet past. I know other people have found that pin
position on edge. And as fast as that green was and as slopey as
that green is, then that pin is a very, very difficult pin
So I called out two pins yesterday. Mickelson called out
a lot more than I did. So I two-putted 15. So I'm happy. You
get no -- I'm not getting suckered into that.
Q. Is water more important than hole location or vice versa?
IAN POULTER: I think both. Both are very important.
And it's wind dependent. A lot of those holes are actually
playing quite -- I'm not going to say easy, because none of them
are easy -- but easier into a good wind, than they are playing
downwind. You'd rather have 220 into the wind than 140 with a
front pin downwind, because you can't stop it. You can't land it
on the green. So you're predicting a first bounce, which is going
to be very, very hard. It takes all the spin off it and you're
trying to predict how far it's going to roll up the green.
Into the wind is a lot easier than down.
Q. Can you describe, what did you say, the wind is coming
from the east tomorrow, what that does to change however --
IAN POULTER: Well, you're aiming at a lot of bunkers, is
what you are doing, and that's difficult when they're five foot
deep and got nasty faces. It's difficult to play this golf course
always hitting it towards danger. It's a proper test of golf.
Q. How wide open is this tournament?
IAN POULTER: Yeah, it's pretty wide open. It's easy to
get on a bad spell on this golf course. It's easy to get stuck on
that rough. And it's easy to make double bogeys, as somebody
pointed out yesterday, I don't know who it was, but 98 players on
the field made double bogey or less.
Q. Will there be weeding out over the weekend?
IAN POULTER: Yeah, there probably will be. I don't
think guys can really shoot a low, low round is what I don't think
can happen with this wind direction. Again, you know, we're
dependent on the pin locations, but guys can definitely come from
a short way back. But I don't even know what the cut line is.
IAN POULTER: Is it 7? I guess if someone gets out there
first thing in the morning, plays a round of golf like Justin Rose
played 11 years ago, and shot 3- or 4-under and went through the
field. It's possible someone could do the same, shooting 4-under
par from that far back, and still have a chance on Sunday, because
it's obviously going to be firm and fast tomorrow afternoon. Pin
positions are going to be difficult and it's going to be hard to
make easy pars. They're all going to be difficult pars.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports