Poulter: ‘Turnberry is fabulous’
Colourful Ian Poulter says he is impressed with Turnberry – despite having had a brush with course security.
Ian Poulter’s first experience of Turnberry almost saw him escorted off the premises, but he hopes his last will see him lifting the Claret Jug as the 138th Open champion.
“I’ve never seen the course before,” he told reporters. ” I turned up at 10 o’clock on Sunday night and had a little look at the 18th green,” explained Poulter, who was second behind Padraig Harrington at Birkdale last year.
“Security guards came charging out shouting, ‘What are you doing? Get off!’
“I said ‘It’s okay, I’m playing’. That was my first look and I almost got escorted off in a wagon, so that was nice.”
“But the golf course is fabulous. I played nine holes yesterday and then snuck out there this morning at 7am on the 10th tee with no-one about to play the back nine. It was very nice, I’m very impressed.”
Poulter eventually finished four shots behind Harrington in the Open 12 months ago after the Irishman’s brilliant back nine of 32, but thought at the time his 15ft par putt on the 72nd hole could be vital.
He duly rolled it in to complete a superb 69 in the tough conditions and went on to make a superb Ryder Cup debut in September with four points out of five and fully justifying Nick Faldo’s controversial decision to hand him a wild card.
And now the 33-year-old Englishman believes he can go one better than last year and end Great Britain’s 10-year wait for a major champion, Paul Lawrie being the last winner in the Open at Carnoustie in 1999.
“I’m not going out there having the mindset on Thursday morning ‘I have to win, I have to win’,” Poulter said. “I’m going out there to play a round of golf.
“Yes, I do have expectations to try to go one better than I did last year, but I will be pacing myself from Thursday to try to get in position to strike on Sunday afternoon.
“I wouldn’t say I played spectacular on Thursday, Friday, Saturday last year. I would say I just sort of found myself in a position where I was there, I was hanging about.
“I was in a position where, with good golf on Sunday, I could put myself into contention and that’s what I did.
“We’ve all seen in the past how guys can hang about and be in the top 25 or 30 and then strike Saturday afternoon and Sunday.
“It’s not just going out there firing at pins on a Thursday and Friday and taking yourself out of the golf tournament. You just have to be sensible in these tournaments and try to slow play your way in.
“Last year was a huge confidence boost and yes, I do believe I can go one step further. We’ll have to see come Sunday night.”
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