Poulter hopes to channel Ryder Cup magic in Australia
By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Ian Poulter converted his sparkling Ryder Cup form into his second World Golf Championship victory in Shenzhen earlier this month and will hope to maintain his strong finish to the year by defending his Australian Masters title.
Poulter will battle former major winner Graeme McDowell and a determined local contingent spearheaded by world number five Adam Scott at Kingston Heath in Melbourne's famed sandbelt.
The 36-year-old Englishman suggested his strongest opponent this week might well be himself, however, and admitted to struggling to take his Ryder Cup intensity to stroke play events.
"You don't get the intensity at a major like you do at the Ryder Cup," the world number 16 told reporters at Kingston Heath on Wednesday.
"You can't recreate what it means in a Ryder Cup into a stroke play event.
"But to give you an example, I probably had five percent adrenaline going through my body - compared to the 100 percent that I had at the Ryder Cup - two weeks ago at the WGC event."
While the Masters's modest A$180,000 ($188,000) winner's cheque might do little to stoke Poulter's competitive fires, Kingston Heath's tricky layout, which places a premium on tactics while rewarding risk-takers, offers a mouthwatering challenge.
Poulter showed himself up for any challenge at last year's tournament, where he upstaged a strong field boasting then-world number one Luke Donald at nearby Royal Victoria Golf Club. Continued...