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July 21, 2013

Ian Poulter


MIKE WOODCOCK: We'd like to welcome Ian Poulter in. Ian, that's a fantastic 4-under par 67 this afternoon. That leaves you 1-over, at the moment you're sitting three off the lead. You must be very pleased you're in a good position.

IAN POULTER: Obviously very, very pleased. To start the day eight back and right now I'm three off the lead. I managed to chop into the guys' lead somewhat around the turn, making eagle and three birdies there to start the back nine. I really put myself in a nice position. It's a shame to bogey 16, not birdie 17. But 4-under par today in those circumstances was obviously a very good round of golf. I'm pleased but I can certainly look back and look at a couple of putts that probably slipped by, which might be what's required to have put my hands on the trophy, but we'll have to wait and see.

Q. After Justin Rose's victory at the U.S. Open, Andy Murray in Wimbledon, England's Cricket in the Ashes, have you been inspired by a summer of British sporting success?
IAN POULTER: It's been an incredible summer, if you have to look at it that way. And obviously Justin's win, especially, I think being a close friend, someone that I've played a lot of golf with throughout the years, I was very proud to see him win that. And obviously it certainly spurred a lot of us guys to think that we can do exactly the same. So it's been a great summer for British sport.

Q. When you go through that run of birdies on the front nine, did it revive memories of Medinah at all? Did you think about that? It felt the same sort of momentum.
IAN POULTER: They were going in the middle like they were in Medinah. Yeah, it was obviously quite nice. The excitement, the atmosphere, the fans out there were certainly giving me a lot of electricity and pumping me up. So, yeah, it's nice to be in that position when you're playing in front of a home crowd holing 15-foot putts for eagles, birdies, and running up that leaderboard.

Q. With the under-par rounds this week being so scarce, when you set out today, did you think, if I could just get to there, I might have a chance?
IAN POULTER: Well, it's hard to put numbers on rounds of golf. It's obviously hard to go to bed last night and think I'm eight back, what do I need to get to to win? I knew I needed to make birdies and not make bogeys. That was obviously one key factor in this. But I felt the way I've played this week, I definitely have put myself in a lot of good positions to make birdies, and I probably haven't taken as many as I wanted to. So I just felt that if I could stay patient today, take a few chances, don't make silly mistakes, then I could definitely move up that board. I was eight back, realistically, do you really think you've got a chance to run straight through and nick it? Going to bed last night, probably not. But you just realize that Paul Lawrie came from ten back. There was a six-shot swing in four holes last year. This tournament does it year in, year out, and it creates a lot of drama. You've just got to find yourself in position around the back nine and see if it's good enough.

Q. One side question, are you still doing the thing with the juniors --
IAN POULTER: Yeah, I'll be at Woburn tomorrow with my Junior Invitational. I'll be there at seven-thirty to have breakfast with them all and see them hit some shots and send them off to the course. And I'm off to my old school on Tuesday, which will be good fun, as well.

Q. Did you feel the course played differently or was it the same as the previous three days?
IAN POULTER: The greens have definitely slowed down just a touch. I think the cloud cover today definitely kept some moisture in the greens. I think the speed of the course on Thursday is probably as fast as they needed it to be, and they've definitely had to back it off. If you look at the scores right now, not that they were trying to set a score for anybody to be under par or over par, but they got it pretty much spot on, I think. They had to slow it down a touch, and it's definitely played better for that.

Q. Congratulations on a great day.
IAN POULTER: Thank you.

Q. How much fun was it? You mentioned the word "fun" before, to do what you did today, get into contention, and obviously the crowd was just loving every minute of it.
IAN POULTER: Well, it's a lot of fun. Obviously playing golf back here in front of home fans is always a lot of fun. The Open Championship, itself, is also a lot of fun. And you can feed off of the guys out there. And that's exactly what I did around the turn. And it made it very enjoyable. As tough as this golf course is to get rewarded with making some putts for birdies, it's a really nice feeling, because sometimes it takes a long time to make a couple of birdies in a row. Sometimes you just feel like this golf course is beating you up all day.

Q. How often did you look at the leaderboards out there? Because players were losing shots --
IAN POULTER: Every time I could.

Q. At what point did you think, hello, I've got a chance here?
IAN POULTER: Well, on 12. As I rolled that putt in right there to get myself back to level par, I was right there in the mix. I think Westie had made bogey at that stage and was at 2-under par. Yeah, I realized then that they've got a lot of tricky holes to play to get to the position that I obviously was in at the time through 12 holes. I hit a fantastic shot into 13 to about 12 feet and missed that putt there. But I'm a leaderboard watcher. I always like to see what's going on. And obviously I realize in this situation when you can get out in front, post a number, sometimes it's a good position to be in.

Q. If you could have one shot again now, would it be the birdie putt on 13? Tee shot 16?
IAN POULTER: I'm quite happy with them all, to be honest. Obviously there's a few on there -- I'd like to have another go at a couple of putts, because you know a line after you've already hit a putt. But I can only be happy with a 67 today. I mean, that's obviously what I've posted. It's difficult sometimes to want to go back and hit another shot. But if you call one out, tee shot 16.

Q. Just as a follow-up, what are you going to do between now and an hour and a half?
IAN POULTER: Talk to you guys a bit more, have a bit of lunch and see what happens, sit tight.

Q. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you were tweeting before the tournament that you needed a new putter for The Open?

Q. Was today the day that you got it under control? How did you get that under control?
IAN POULTER: Well, today was the day where I felt the putter started to work. Certainly the last few events I felt like I haven't had that kind of roll where I've rolled key putts in at the right time. I've worked very hard in the last two weeks to find a putter that I felt very comfortable with. And the last time that I burned foot marks in a putting green for as many hours as I practiced would have been back at Birkdale in '08 when I changed my putter that week and finished second. So I guess I've done something very similar again this week. So maybe I need to change my putter every week.

Q. Perhaps that was the answer, but you've been saying for some time that you're nearly there. What's actually triggered it this week, other than the putter?
IAN POULTER: I think being patient. I think I've been frustrated on the golf course in the last few months because I know I've been playing very, very well. And I don't seem to get frustrated in this golf tournament. I'm here in front of home fans. I really enjoy this event. I enjoy that it's difficult. I enjoy what it means to be back here and play golf. So I didn't let myself get frustrated, so I could be a bit more patient and probably enjoy the week a bit more, to be honest.

Q. You had a flight booked for eight o'clock tonight?
IAN POULTER: Did have.

Q. What are you going to do now?
IAN POULTER: I'll jump on the same plane but it will be a bit later.

Q. How long are you going to stick around for?
IAN POULTER: Hopefully to hold the Jug. But if not, I'll be here until I'm needed.

MIKE WOODCOCK: Thank you very much. Well played.

IAN POULTER: Thank you.

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