Masters: ‘Fired-up’ Poulter fancies his chances

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Ian Poulter is never one to mince his words, so when it comes to the prospects of winning a major championship it is no different.

“I’ve looked at my stats and I think this (tournament) is my best chance,” the Ryder Cup star said ahead of the US Masters,.

“I feel very good about my game right now. I’ve played five events since the start of the year and played last week, something slightly different. I’ve never played the week before the Masters. I’ve always had a couple of weeks off but I wanted to be match sharp. And although I didn’t finish the week off well, I feel that I’m ready.

“I’ve hit the right shots in practice. I generally play the course pretty well and I’m fired up to play well again this year.”

Despite making the cut in each of his eight Masters appearances – his worst finish is a tie for 33rd – Poulter’s best result in a major remains his second place to Padraig Harrington in the 2008 Open at Royal Birkdale.

His best golf also seems to be reserved for the Ryder Cup, winning four points out of five at Valhalla in 2008, three points from four at Celtic Manor in 2010 and four from four in the “Miracle at Medinah” last year.

Much has been made about translating the passion and intensity Poulter brings to the Ryder Cup to individual events, but the 37-year-old has an emphatic answer when asked if that is possible.

“No is the simple answer. I’ve answered that a hundred times,” Poulter added. “You’ve got two sets of fans (at the Ryder Cup) and here you’ve got fans that are wishing 92 players play well.”

Another thing which will not be repeated at Augusta is the noise whipped up by defending champion Bubba Watson at the Ryder Cup while he was teeing off, something Poulter gleefully reproduced. The pair have been drawn together for the opening two rounds, but Poulter said: “There will be no whooping and hollering on that first tee. That is not in the traditions of Augusta.”