Poulter (71) plays 'lovely' in return to PGA National

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PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Ian Poulter’s return to the Honda Classic Thursday wasn’t the wild ride that made his finish so dramatic at PGA National last year, but he enjoyed it.

“I played lovely,” Poulter said. “It could have been better. Hit one poor shot on the last, hit a poor shot earlier in the round at the 16th, but I played nicely.”

Poulter opened with a 1-over par 71 in heavy winds and tough conditions.

“It’s a decent start on a tricky day,” Poulter said.

Nobody knows the thrills and spills the Champion Course offers better than Poulter.

A year ago, Poulter took a three-shot lead into the final round. Though he hit five balls in the water, Poulter somehow fought his way back to within one shot of the lead, just missing out on a playoff.

Poulter was asked how eager he was to get another shot at PGA National and the Champion Course this year.

“I was looking forward to coming back,” Poulter said. “I generally play pretty good golf on tough golf courses.”