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Tuesday, 18 February 2014
Ian Poulter in his press conference at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship  (Getty Images)
Ian Poulter in his press conference at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship (Getty Images)
Englishman Ian Poulter is hoping to kick-start his season at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, where he faces American Rickie Fowler in the first round on Wednesday.  

Poulter was in superb form at the end of last year and spent the off season practising hard, but by his own admission has had an indifferent start to 2014.

A return to his favourite format of the game, however, has him fancying his chances.

“I do think I've got a good chance to win this week, if I play good golf,” said the 38 year old, who won here at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain in Arizona in 2010. “My match play record is pretty good.  And I feel if I play the golf that I know I can play and I hang tough when I need to, then I believe I've got what it takes to win. 

“It's one of the purest formats in golf. You can play fantastic, shoot six under par and be going home.  You can shoot level par and be staying. So you just have to do enough to dispatch your opponent, and hopefully I can do that tomorrow. 

“I've worked harder over the winter than I worked to get ready for the back end of last year, but it hasn’t quite clicked in the first few tournaments like it clicked in the last four of 2013. It doesn’t make sense sometimes.

“Certainly a match play event might be the spark that I need to get going.”

Poulter has a formidable record in Ryder Cups, and also won the Volvo World Match Play Championship in 2011. Asked what made him so good in the format, he replied: “I hate losing. I absolutely hate it.

“I don't know any great sportsman who’s a great loser. I've always taken defeat pretty badly. I enjoy winning a lot more.

“In a normal week there are 154 guys in the field, and you can come up against a lot of great players who managed to play better than you. When it’s one on one, you can see what you have to do right in front of you.

“You're playing somebody, you're in control of your golf ball and you can see what they're doing with theirs.  So it’s easier in match play to control of the game, I guess.”

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