Rolex Series

Poulter delves into his golfing archive in windy Abu Dhabi

Ian Poulter revealed he had to dive into his golfing archive as he fired an excellent round of 72 on a very windy second day of the 2022 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Ian Poulter

Level par was a very good score in round two of the opening Rolex Series event of the 2022 DP World Tour season and that was exactly what Poulter fired to stay six under at Yas Links.

He got to eight under with a pair of opening birdies but three-putts on the 15th and first pegged him back as he looks for a first Rolex Series victory of an illustrious career.

And while he admitted it has been some time since he played in such gusty conditions, he was glad to have the experience to tackle them in his 23rd season on Tour.

"Early in the season, you haven't hit those shots for quite some time and you're fighting the wind and trying to draw the golf ball, it's really tricky," he said.

"A poor shot with the wrong wind gets really punished. I really only hit one or two of those but I didn't really get punished.

"You don't get to play in this kind of wind very often, especially not when you've had nine weeks off, and if it's ever going to be this windy in your off-season, you don't really go and practise in it. 

"To get this thrown at you early in the season is tricky. 

"It was kind of like, God, it's been a while since you've had to hit those type of shots. In a way, it's actually quite nice. We've played them in the past, chipping seven irons from 120 and hitting three woods from 217.

It was kind of like, God, it's been a while since you've had to hit those type of shots. In a way, it's actually quite nice

"You've got to go into the archive and sort and of try and remember some of the shots you've played in the past."

Viktor Hovland was also six under after a 74 and he too acknowledged the toughness of the conditions in the UAE.

"It was a tough day today," he said. "Obviously I would have liked to have made a couple more putts and I think I could have shot under par today but it was really difficult when it is blowing as much as it is.

"You might be able to pick up a birdie here and there but on a day like today, it's limited how many chances you're going to get.

"It's all about kind of being risk-averse and missing on the right side and picking your spots and just telling yourself that it's OK to be 50 feet away on this hole. You just kind of have to manage that as the day goes on."

And the Norwegian Ryder Cup star feels that the likes of Poulter, who have played plenty of links golf, may have an advantage over the weekend.

"I'm in a good spot but there's still plenty of guys throughout and a lot of Brits and Scottish men that play in this weather all the time," he said.

"I'm liking my position right now and we'll see what happens."

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