Ian Poulter reveals secret to match play: ‘Never be surprised’

September 18, 2017

Veteran tour pro Ian Poulter has compiled a 12-4-2 match play record while competing on five European Ryder Cup teams. He has also famously been a thorn in the the U.S. team’s side while playing on four winning Euro squads.

So, what’s his key to match play? “I hate losing,” Poulter says.

In fact the Englishman says he actually hates losing more than he enjoys winning.

In a recent interview with GOLF.com Poulter talked about the art of match play, and what it takes to be successful, whether it’s the Ryder or Presidents Cup, your weekend matches.

Among his tips: “Never have your mindset in the form of, ‘What if I would miss that putt?’ Don’t ever think what if.”

The two-time PGA Tour winner also says to never underestimate an opponent. “In your mind, you kind of almost have to think that you’ve given them that putt. If they miss it, fine. But know that you’re never gonna get a surprise,” he said. “If you get surprised in match play, it’s a bad situation. Never be surprised.”

Match play will return to the spotlight next week at the President’s Cup, where the U.S. will look to continue its dominance – 9 of 11 Presidents Cups have gone to the Americans.

Why has the U.S. owned this series?

“I’m not saying the guys down the back order are weaker, but in strength and depth maybe the U.S. are stronger in their 12,” Poulter said. “In Ryder Cup, you’ve always gotta sit a few guys out. And, obviously only eight players play, you know, the first two days in those four different matches. Maybe it’s more even.”

You can watch the full interview in the video above.