Poulter confident ahead of Open

Poulter confident ahead of Open

Ian Poulter hit his first shot at St Andrews out of bounds yesterday, but still backed himself to win the Open Championship.

Fortunately for Poulter, his errant shot came as he took on some youngsters at Tri-Golf before receiving the Golf Foundation’s ’Spirit of Golf’ award in recognition of his contribution to the game and fundraising efforts.

The 34-year-old also took questions from his young opponents, and when asked if he would be lifting the Claret Jug come Sunday evening, simply said: “Yes.”

Poulter, who finished second behind Padraig Harrington at Birkdale two years ago, later said: “I just like this course. I feel my game is in shape and I just want to get going.

“I have great memories of it, my first Open was here in 2000. I qualified at Ladybank, I’d never been to St Andrews or played links golf. I remember parking on the side of the road and walking on to the 17th green and I was like, ’What is this?’.

“The greens didn’t look like greens to me, they looked like short fairway. It’s just an amazing place and I love coming here. The course is fantastic, very very good, as green as I’ve ever seen it but still running.”

The Old Course has been extended by a total of 45 yards since last staging the Open in 2005, with 40 of those yards added to the famous ’Road Hole’ 17th.

A new tee forces the players to flirt with danger over the corner of the Old Course Hotel, with the par four now measuring a daunting 495 yards.

“I played it on Thursday and Friday and one day I hit it in the left rough and couldn’t get to the green, had to chop it out,” Poulter added. “The next day I hit it in the fairway and went in with five iron.

“But I can’t see many people honestly taking on the green itself. I’m quite happy to hit it on the very very front of that green and I’ll putt from there. I’ll take my chances from 60, 70 or 80 feet.

“And if it’s into the wind, aiming towards the second fairway is not a bad option off the tee, go way left.”

Poulter has been grouped with defending champion Stewart Cink and 2002 winner Ernie Els in the opening two rounds, teeing off at 8:42am on Thursday.

More in this Section

5 things we learned from the Premier League this weekend5 things we learned from the Premier League this weekend

Juve extend advantage after Inter Milan are held at LecceJuve extend advantage after Inter Milan are held at Lecce

Messi strikes to give Setien victory in first match as Barcelona bossMessi strikes to give Setien victory in first match as Barcelona boss

Basketball wrap: Eanna brought back to earth with a bumpBasketball wrap: Eanna brought back to earth with a bump


Frank Keogh did not want to get a hearing aid. He was afraid that it would make him look old. But now, just several weeks after having one fitted, he says that he can’t do without it.Hearing tests: A word in your ear

I see that a website describes the call of Canarian cory’s shearwaters as ‘waca waca’. It’s a mad, hysterical call, uttered when the parent birds arrive to feed their nestlings.Cory’s shearwaters show long-distance qualities

Is it too much to hope that an important public health matter, such as Lyme disease, will be an issue in the general election? There’s been a worrying reluctance by the authorities to face up to the extent of the disease here.Facing up to Lyme disease

A paper published in Current Biology examines the extinction of a colourful little bird which, until recently, thrived in the eastern US. With the appalling environmental catastrophe enveloping Australia, home to 56 of the world’s 370 parrot species, this account of the Carolina parakeet’s demise is timely.Trying to save the parrot is not all talk

More From The Irish Examiner