It’s good to be back – Poulter
Ian Poulter’s return to Europe for the next three weeks has allowed him to catch up on some of the things he misses most.
Ian Poulter’s return to Europe for the next three weeks has allowed him to catch up on three of the four things he misses most in the USA.
“English breakfast tea, a proper bacon butty and my bed,” said Poulter, who after his first week at home in six months is now in Paris for the French Open Alstom.
His other favourite thing is watching Arsenal, but that, of course, will have to wait.
The Open runner-up – he hopes to go one better at Turnberry in a fortnight – based himself and his family in Florida for the first half of this year and that looks set to continue.
“It seems to be working pretty well,” he added. “I’m not giving myself the best chance to win the Order of Merits, but scheduling-wise it has been fine.
“I can see it being the pattern for a few years unless the Tours change the tournaments around again.
“If it stays the way it is then I’m happy because I am seeing more of the family now than I ever had – and that is the most important bit.”
Boosted not only by Birkdale last summer, but also by the four points out of five he won at the Ryder Cup, the 33-year-old has moved into the world’s top 20 this season, with the obvious highlight being his runner-up finish behind Henrik Stenson at the Players Championship.
“I think the game might have improved a little, but mentally I have improved a lot.
“I’ve learned a few different shots. At the US Open I used a completely new short game theory that was unbelievably good.
“I will be a lot more confident going to Turnberry than I was going to Birkdale last year. I am fresher now than I ever have been after taking extra time at the start of the year.”
He planned a long winter rest, but it became even longer when he had eye surgery to correct an astigmatism and a problem he was having in fading light.
Just before The Masters he had a cyst removed from his wrist and he feels in the best shape of his life.
This time last year his putting was a concern, as he said: “That’s why I spent four hours on the putting green at Birkdale on the Monday before The Open and wore a hole in it.
“I got it going during the tournament and then it was a snowball of confidence for the rest of the year.
“I’m trying to stay as fresh as I can for the Open now, so that means cutting down the practice sessions and making sure the work I do is of a certain quality.
“It’s about knowing your yardage book. That’s your map at the end of the day and if you drive it well and keep it out of trouble then you’ll be all right.”
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