Ian Poulter admits he is underprepared for his 13th Masters appearance, but feels 13 is certainly not an unlucky number where he is concerned.
Poulter secured the last place in the field at Augusta National by virtue of his dramatic victory in the Shell Houston Open on Sunday, making a birdie on the 72nd hole before beating Beau Hossler in a play-off.
The 42-year-old then spent a day at home in Orlando before travelling to Augusta on Tuesday, where he was the 85th player in the 87-man field to officially register for the year’s first major.
Poulter, who has missed just one cut in his previous 12 Masters starts, said: “Thirteen is an unlucky number but I don’t feel it is after I’ve made it in.
“I’m the least prepared as I’ve ever been but I need to stay fresh because I know this golf course very well. I love this place.
“I’ve had success here, obviously not with the green jacket, but I’ve had success shooting 67, 67 over a weekend (to finish sixth in 2015), and I’ve got off to fast starts.
“I know I can play this golf course so it’s really about me managing my energy levels this week, staying patient and enjoying it for what it is. Last week I wasn’t supposed to be here and this week I am so I really need to enjoy what it means to get back here to play and see how we go.”
Poulter had packed his bags ahead of a possible missed cut in Houston following an opening 73, but stormed back to shoot rounds of 64, 65 and 67 to secure his first win since 2012 and a first stroke-play title in the United States.
“To watch the TV and see everyone play practice rounds, chipping and putting, and the excitement of Tiger (Woods) being back in form and all of that seemed a bit weird, but I’m here now,” Poulter added.
“I have zero expectations. I have never pitched up to the Masters on a Tuesday afternoon, I would never have done as little preparation as I’m about to do for this event.
“So as confident as I feel going into this week, I believe I’m unprepared, so let’s see if that works in my favour. Sometimes we’ve seen that in the past with players and it worked out well last week, so hopefully it can work out well this week.”
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