Poulter feeling good about Masters chances

4/10/2013 4:08:34 PM
Ian Poulter  (Getty Images)
Ian Poulter (Getty Images)
Ian Poulter is never one to mince his words, and when it comes to the prospects of winning a Major Championship it is no different.

"I've looked at my stats and I think this (tournament) is my best chance," The Ryder Cup star said ahead of the 77th Masters Tournament, which gets under way at Augusta National on Thursday.

"I feel very good about my game right now. I've played five events since the start of the year and played last week, something slightly different. I've never played the week before the Masters.

"I've always had a couple of weeks off but I wanted to get another tournament in before coming here so I could be match sharp. And although I didn't finish the week off well, I feel that I'm ready.

"I've hit the right shots in practice. I generally play the course pretty well. I'm fired up to play well again this year and try to slip one of those jackets on come Sunday.

"There's no anxiety. I know this week is probably my best chance, so I just need to go out there and perform. I don't have sleepless nights over it. If I did it be would through excitement, and I think I'll be able to play on no sleep come Sunday if I had to."

Despite making the cut in each of his eight Masters Tournament appearances - his worst finish is a tie for 33rd - Poulter's best result in a Major remains his second place to Padraig Harrington in the 2008 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

His best golf also seems to be reserved for The Ryder Cup, winning four points out of five at Valhalla in 2008, three points from four at Celtic Manor in 2010 and four from four in the 'Miracle at Medinah' last year.

Much has been made about translating the passion and intensity Poulter brings to The Ryder Cup to individual events, but the 37 year old has an emphatic answer when asked if that is possible.

"No is the simple answer. I've answered that a hundred times," Poulter added.

"You've got two sets of fans (at The Ryder Cup) and here you've got fans that are wishing 92 players play well.

"It's very difficult to get that same atmosphere, recreate it. It just won't happen. But what will happen is on Sunday afternoon, when you're coming down the stretch, you will be feeling the same kind of emotions. The crowds might not be quite as loud, but they will be respectful of good golf shots and obviously the birdies that happen here on a Sunday.

"So I think there will be some good vibes hopefully going through me with nine holes to play and hopefully I can pull upon those Ryder Cup moments to bring me through."

One thing which will not be repeated at Augusta is the noise whipped up by defending champion Bubba Watson at The Ryder Cup while he was teeing off, something Poulter gleefully reproduced at the time.

The pair have been drawn together for the opening two rounds here, but Poulter said: "There will be no hooping and hollering on that first tee box. That is not in the traditions of Augusta National."