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'Exhausted' Poulter seeks tactics change

ESPN staff
February 5, 2013 « White tells Edgar: Don't go back to 155lbs | Chartbeat test »
Ian Poulter's will to win is always visible to his rivals © PA Photos
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An "exhausted" Ian Poulter is two weeks away from returning to competition and he is armed with a new strategy to help him transfer his Ryder Cup brilliance into individual glory.

The Englishman decided to take six weeks away from the golf course after finishing ninth at the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii in January.

And he has spent the time analysing why he fails to play with the same dare and the passion that possesses him in match play when competing in stroke play.

The conclusion the world No. 12 has come to is that he needs to be more aggressive, particularly on par fives. While Poulter's ability to scramble and save par or better from seemingly any bunker or furrow is second to none he struggles in consistently landing close to the hole, a problem which most hampers him on long par fives.

That has to change in the 37-year-old's eyes and once fully rested he intends to bring his famous Ryder Cup fire to his personal career.

"I'm exhausted," Poulter admitted on the TV show Morning Drive, before switching to an analysis of his game. "I have to sit down and work out what happens to me. My mindset changes very much [in match play] and I need to do that in stroke play. If I can raise my game like I do in match play, then anything is possible.

"I always try to lay up to a certain number [on the par fives] and that doesn't work. If my scoring clubs are from 100 to 150 yards, and that's where you make most of your birdies, then if that proximity is closer I will become a better player."

Poulter will be back in action at the WGC-Accenture Match Play in Arizona from February 20-24.

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