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February 18, 2014

Ian Poulter


SARAH GWYNN:テつ Thanks very much for joining us today.テつ You are something of a formidable match play specialist.テつ You must be looking forward to this year.
IAN POULTER:テつ Always nice to play match play.テつ It's no big secret with me.テつ And hopefully it comes at the right time of year.
So form has been a little disappointing out of the first few tournaments of the year.テつ I would have expected to play a lot better than I've shown.テつ I've worked very hard in the off‑season and nothing over the early weeks has paid off.テつ So I'm hoping it pays off this week.
SARAH GWYNN:テつ Maybe a week like this which you typically enjoy, it's sort of what of need to spark that form.
IAN POULTER:テつ Yeah, it's one of the purest formats in golf.テつ You can play fantastic, be 6‑under par and be going home.テつ You can shoot level par and be staying.テつ So you just have to do enough to dispatch your opponent, and hopefully I can do that tomorrow.

Q.テつ 10:25 is that good, bad?テつ Is it something you like?テつ You famously like your sleep?
IAN POULTER:テつ I like my sleep, which means I'll be in bed at 6:30 tonight.テつ It makes no difference really, I guess.テつ It's not like it's going to drop five inches of snow tonight.
And we're going to be a little chilly in the morning.テつ I think the temperature out there is quite nice.テつ At 7:25, I think it's probably 50 degrees.テつ So a sweater for the first couple of holes and T‑shirt from then on.

Q.テつ The fact that (inaudible.)
IAN POULTER:テつ It's good.テつ It's good any day of the week or any day of the month, to be honest.テつ It would be nice to get out there.テつ It would be nice to get the juices going in match play, which happens for me.テつ So hopefully I can‑‑ I can get out there early and get back in the clubhouse early and have a nice lunch.

Q.テつ I seem to remember you had the first tee time last year.テつ Did they give you that tee time because you're fast?
IAN POULTER:テつ I guess I'm in that unlucky slot, I guess you could call it.テつ I think I had it the year after I won, I think.テつ I don't remember what my time was last year.

Q.テつ Fresh greens?
IAN POULTER:テつ Best time in the morning, apparently, so my granddad tells me.

Q.テつ Why do you think you're so good at match play?
IAN POULTER:テつ I hate losing.テつ Sorry.テつ I hate losing.テつ Absolutely hate it.テつ Really detest it badly.テつ Really badly.

Q.テつ Anything back to your early days in golf where that became apparent to you?
IAN POULTER:テつ Early days in football I was a bad loser.テつ Back then as a kid, I hated it.テつ I didn't like to losing a football match.テつ I didn't like losing a pool match.
I don't know any great sportsman that's a great loser, to be honest, providing you do it in your own space, I guess, and relieve the anger without anyone seeing it, then that's fine.テつ I've always taken defeat pretty bad.テつ I don't enjoy it.テつ I enjoy winning a lot more.

Q.テつ Obviously you had a lot of success in this format and here.テつ There's a lot of speculation about what happens beyond this year with this, would you lobby to keep it as it is, where it is?
IAN POULTER:テつ It's not up to me.テつ It's up to the sponsors, I guess.テつ If it stays, great.テつ If not, we'll have to get used to a new golf course, I guess.テつ Obviously Accenture has been in for quite some time, and they've done a fantastic job.テつ If it's time for them to move on and someone else steps in, we'll have to wait and see where that goes.
I've got a fairly decent record here.テつ So if it stays, it's good.テつ But I've got a decent match play record irrespective of it just being at Dove Mountain.テつ I really don't mind where we play match play, it's just a great format to play golf.

Q.テつ Of all the match play you've played, are there a handful of matches that stick out as the most memorable?テつ And, I guess, why?
IAN POULTER:テつ Ryder Cups.テつ Every Ryder Cup match I've played, I think.テつ They've been pretty memorable to myself.テつ G‑Mac and I against Furyk and Kenny Perry, that was a hell of a match around the back nine.
And obviously with Rory last time around, with Dufner and Zach Johnson, that's probably the two real notables.

Q.テつ How are you going to out‑fashion Rickie Fowler tomorrow?
IAN POULTER:テつ It's not about out‑fashioning Rickie Fowler, it's about beating him on the golf course.テつ I don't care whether I'm out‑fashioning him or he's out‑fashioning me.テつ My job is to send him home as early as possible and that's what I will try to do.

Q.テつ If you were the Czar, would you tinker with the format or do you like the lose and go home?
IAN POULTER:テつ Yeah, the loser should go home.テつ I think it's perfect.テつ I think it's a great format.

Q.テつ You like it better than, say, the Volvo match play or having some stroke play first?
IAN POULTER:テつ I've been on the winning end of both of those.テつ The year I won the Volvo match play, I didn't win‑‑ I don't believe I won any of my first three matches and I managed to go through.テつ So I guess I might have been slightly lucky on that side of things.
And yet you can win a match and still go home.テつ It's‑‑ match play is match play.テつ If you get defeated, you should be packing your bags and going home.テつ That's how I've always known match play.テつ Rather than a round robin affair where you get a couple of bites of the cherry.

Q.テつ On that hating to lose aspect that you were just describing a few moments ago, is it harder to translate that to stroke play?テつ Obviously at the end of a round, you've still got three more to go, is it harder to build up that kind of anger?テつ You didn't really lose?
IAN POULTER:テつ Yeah, there's obviously more people at play, 154 other guys on any given normal week.テつ You can come up against a lot of great players in those 154 others, which just managed to play better than you.テつ One‑on‑one, you can see what you have to do right in front of you.テつ You're playing somebody, you're in control of your golf ball and you can see what they're doing with theirs.
So it is easier in match play to keep control of the game, I guess, rather than four rounds of golf.

Q.テつ Coming down the stretch and you're behind in the match and you hate to lose, can you tell us a little bit about what that feels like?
IAN POULTER:テつ I haven't been down that often (laughter), but it's not very nice.テつ You have to dig deep.テつ And you have to be aggressive and hole putts at the right time and turn those matches around.

Q.テつ And the anger doesn't get in the way of that?
IAN POULTER:テつ No, not really, no.テつ Not that I'll show you, anyway.テつ Or try not to.

Q.テつ Could you tell us how you dissipate that?
IAN POULTER:テつ Usual, count to ten.テつ There's ways of controlling myself on the golf course and not having everybody see it.

Q.テつ Do you think you will have a good chance of winning this week?テつ And if so, why?
IAN POULTER:テつ Yeah, I do think I've got a good chance to win this week, if I play good golf.テつ My match play record is pretty good.テつ And I feel if I play the golf that I know I can play and I hang in there tough when I need to, then I believe I've got what it takes to win.

Q.テつ If you finished last season so well, and the same the year before, and it usually is with you, why do you think you've struggled to get out of the blocks at the start of the year?
IAN POULTER:テつ I didn't struggle to get out of the blocks last year.テつ I finished fourth.
I don't know, to be honest.テつ I've worked exceptionally hard in the off‑season.テつ In fact, I've worked harder probably than what I worked to get ready for the back end of the year.テつ So it doesn't make sense sometimes.テつ It hasn't quite clicked in the first few tournaments like it clicked in the last four tournaments in the back end of last year.テつ And maybe certainly match play might be the spark that I need to get going.テつ It's not for lack of a commitment to practice.テつ I've been pretty committed to hit a lot of balls at the start of the year, do a lot of gym work to try to get ready for 2014, and hopefully try to win a Major and put myself on the Ryder Cup team and all of those things.テつ But I've played three tournaments and it hasn't quite worked out.
I would be expecting it to turn around very, very quickly and turn into some real good stuff.
SARAH GWYNN:テつ Thanks, Ian.テつ Good luck this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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