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Poulter positive despite Match Play woe

ESPN staff
February 25, 2013 « Lies, damned lies and statistics says AVB | Chartbeat test »
Ian Poulter has added length to his game with some new clubs © Getty Images
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Ian Poulter is taking the positives from his run to the semi-finals of the WGC Match Play Championship - the most notable being a return to the world's top 10.

Poulter played some sparkling golf in the early rounds and was the bookmakers' favourite heading into the final four.

However, he bumped into Hunter Mahan in sizzling form and was sent packing on the 15th hole. Poulter went on to lose the third-place play-off to Jason Day, which capped off a disappointing final day for the Englishman.

But Poulter's prime target is a first major title and he can build up for the Masters as a top-10 player for the first time in 25 months.

He has new clubs in the bag, which have added length to his game, and he will tailor his schedule to ensure he is in peak shape for the majors.

"I came here with 13 out of 14 clubs in the bag which were brand new," he said. "They seem to be working really nicely. The ball flight has changed, I'm hitting it a little further off the tee. I can also get to the pins more easily because my ball flight has been higher.

"It was a shame today but everything that has happened this week is good."

Poulter is likely to pick and choose the events he plays in this year. He said: "You can't do it every week if you are slightly tired. You have to be switched on and ready to go. I feel fresh as a daisy today. It's unbelievable really, I played a lot in the five days. It's a lesson to learn. Take some time off, stay fresh.

"You have got to take the breaks. You don't realise what it takes out of you when you go gallivanting about around Asia and all over the place, trying to play golf.

"There are enough good tournaments in the world to play a decent schedule."

World rankings: 1. Rory McIlroy (NIR), 2. Tiger Woods (USA), 3. Luke Donald (ENG), 4. Brandt Snedeker (USA), 5. Louis Oosthuizen (RSA), 6. Justin Rose (ENG), 7. Adam Scott (AUS), (USA), 8. Matt Kuchar (USA), 9. Lee Westwood (ENG), 10. Ian Poulter (ENG), 11. Bubba Watson (USA), 12. Phil Mickelson (USA), 13. Steve Stricker (USA), 14. Charl Schwartzel (RSA), 15. Jason Dufner (USA), 16. Webb Simpson (USA), 17. Sergio Garcia (ESP), 18. Keegan Bradley (USA), 19. Graeme McDowell (NIR), 20. Dustin Johnson (USA)

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