Time off gives Poulter a Match Play boost
By Mark Lamport-Stokes
MARANA, Arizona (Reuters) - A bold decision to take six weeks off since he tied for ninth at the PGA Tour's season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii has, so far, proved to be immensely beneficial for Ian Poulter.
The fashion conscious Englishman spent much of that time making a few equipment changes and working on his swing, a strategy that has helped him stay unbeaten after the first two rounds of this week's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
"I think I'm probably more prepared than I've ever been," Poulter told reporters after beating American Bo Van Pelt 3&1 in the snow-delayed second round at Dove Mountain on Friday.
"The equipment change, changing new shafts in all my irons, knocking out a five-wood out of the bag and putting in an extra gap wedge, picking up four miles an hour of ball speed on the driver, I couldn't be any happier coming into this week.
"I couldn't be any happier how I've struck it, how the ball flight has been, my yardages ... If I got beat today, I'd still be walking away thinking that I've made an improvement from where I was six months ago, and that's good."
Asked what had prompted his equipment change, Poulter replied: "When you dive into my stats and look at areas that I need to improve and how the golf courses are set up year-in, year-out, I need to hit it farther to try and stay competitive.
"I also need to hit it higher and stop the ball quicker. If I continue with the same shafts, then it's just not going to happen, so I need to look at ways to try and get better, get a bit stronger."
STEELY FOCUS Continued...