Poulter grapples with art of scheduling

Mon Dec 3, 2012 7:09am EST
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Scheduling tournaments at the right time in the best place is one of the trickiest tasks for a global player and Ian Poulter readily admits he overplayed his hand in what proved to be an exhausting 2012 campaign.

The flamboyant Englishman rebounded from a slow start to the season with a spectacular run of success and consistency that included his second World Golf Championships (WGC) win but he ran out of gas in his last two events, in Dubai and California.

"I put myself in a situation this week where, to be honest, I'm kind of spent," Poulter told Reuters after finishing 17th in an elite 18-player field at the World Challenge hosted by Tiger Woods in Thousand Oaks on Sunday.

"My body was just telling me, and I was making stupid mistakes. The first two days I was tired on the golf course and obviously it (jet-lag) takes its toll out of you. It's hard to get it exactly right.

"There are so many good tournaments around the world and I would love to play all of them but unfortunately we can't. You have to look at it, plan it and try and play where you know you can perform."

Poulter closed with rounds of 71 and 72 to end a rain-soaked week at Sherwood Country Club a distant 17 shots behind winner Graeme McDowell but he can reflect on a 2012 season that enhanced his status as one of the game's best and most inspirational players.

He recorded three top 10s in the majors, came from behind to seal a two-shot victory in the HSBC-WGC Champions Tournament at Missions Hills in China last month and underpinned an astonishing fightback by Europe at the Ryder Cup in October.

"It's been amazing, the back half of the season," smiled the 36-year-old Englishman. "Three top 10s in the majors, then I got to the Ryder Cup and backed that up with some great golf."   Continued...

Ian Poulter of England watches his shot from the 10th tee during the third round of the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai November 24, 2012. REUTERS/Nikhil Monteiro