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Masters 2013: Ian Poulter hopes to end Europe’s Augusta drought

- The Augusta Chronicle - Tuesday, April 9, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Ian Poulter says bluntly that the Masters Tournament is his best chance at winning a major, and he doesn’t believe that adds pressure.

“I don’t have sleepless nights over it,” said Poulter, who hopes to improve on his seventh-place finish last year. “The fact is, I just need to go and play well.”

Poulter doesn’t have misguided reasons to be confident. He was one of only five players to post par-or-better rounds on all four tournament days last year and has two top-10 finishes in the past three Masters.

Poulter said he made adjustments over the winter. He estimates he’s added 15 yards to his tee shots, which would help him on the par-5s. He also said shaft changes have given him a higher ball flight.

Everything has Poulter thinking positively as he looks to become the first Euro­pean to win the Masters since Jose Maria Olazabal in 1999.

The presence of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have helped continue that drought, as Poulter pointed out, but the lack of a win by an Englishman still surprises him, considering the success of Luke Donald, Jus­tin Rose and Lee West­wood.

“I feel that how I’ve looked at the golf course in terms of statistics, how I’ve played the course the number of years I have, I generally play it pretty well,” Poulter said. “I’m kind of fired up to play well again this year and try and slip one of those jackets on come Sunday.”