Ian Poulter is known as one of the best match play competitors on the planet. He won the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in 2010, and has a career 4-0 singles record at the Ryder Cup. Poulter will face Rickie Fowler in the first match tomorrow morning at 7:25 am MT.
When asked why he is so good at match play, Poulter said, “I hate losing. Absolutely hate it. Really detest it badly. Really badly.” I’m sure most players on Tour feel the same way, but Poulter is able to channel his frustration into a mental edge against his opponents.
Poulter finished second at the WGC-HSBC Champions in November, but hasn’t played well in 2014. He finished T47 at the Farmers, missed the cut at the Waste Management, and finished T59 at the Northern Trust. Poulter doesn’t quite know why he is off to a slow start:
I don’t know, to be honest. I’ve worked exceptionally hard in the off‑season. In fact, I’ve worked harder probably than what I worked to get ready for the back end of last year. So it doesn’t make sense sometimes. It hasn’t quite clicked in the first few tournaments like it clicked in the last four tournaments [at] the back end of last year. And maybe certainly match play might be the spark that I need to get going.
It’s not for lack of a commitment to practice. I’ve been pretty committed to hit a lot of balls at the start of the year, do a lot of gym work to try to get ready for 2014, and hopefully try to win a Major and put myself on the Ryder Cup team and all of those things. But I’ve played three tournaments and it hasn’t quite worked out.
I would be expecting it to turn around very, very quickly, and turn into some real good stuff.
A few players are looking to jumpstart their seasons this week, and Poulter has the mental edge to get it going in Arizona.