Englishman Ian Poulter will head to the Ballantine’s Championship in fine form after his strong showing at the Masters Tournament, where he produced his best performance to date at Augusta National.
The 36 year old finished seventh despite suffering from illness in the weeks leading up to the year’s first Major Championship, and he is high on confidence as he goes in search of his third European Tour title on Asian soil at Blackstone Golf Club near the Korean capital of Seoul.
“I always enjoy going to the Far East and that is reflected in my performances, as I’ve had some great results in that part of the world,” said Poulter. “I’ve won in Hong Kong (the 2010 Hong Kong Open) and Singapore (the 2009 Singapore Open), and it would be great to add Korea to that list at the Ballantine’s Championship.
“It looks like it will be a very strong field, and the course at Blackstone Golf Club is a challenging one, so it will be a great test. I am relishing the challenge though, and as my top ten finish in the Masters showed, my game is in great shape.
“At the tournament last year we were given a very warm welcome, so it will be a pleasure to return. The Ballantine’s Championship will be the second event in a two-week spell for me in the Far East and I’m really looking forward to it.”
The €2,205,000 tournament, from April 26-29, is set to boast a world-class field, and Poulter and the rest of the English contingent will be out to emulate their compatriot Lee Westwood, who became the first Englishman to win the title last season.
Paul Casey is one of those, and he is keen to contend for titles again after a spell out injured early in the season.
“I’m looking forward to making my debut in the Ballantine’s Championship as I’ve heard great things about the event,” said 11-time European Tour champion Casey. “It’s always fun going to the Far East and sampling the great culture over there. The people are always extremely friendly and the food is good too.
“I’m pleased with my progress since coming back from my shoulder injury and I feel fresh and raring to compete again. I’m very optimistic for the season and hopefully a good performance at the Ballantine’s Championship will be the catalyst for a successful season.”