Poulter out to improve putting, earnings in 2015


SAN DIEGO – Don’t be confused by Ian Poulter’s superhuman putting at the Ryder Cup.

“When you actually dissect the stats like I did at the end of last year,” he said Saturday at Torrey Pines, “my putting was nowhere near acceptable.”

Indeed, putting was the main area of concern for the Englishman, who is making his 2015 debut here after eight weeks off. He is tied for 13th, three shots back heading into the final round.

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As part of his evaluation, Poulter noticed that he had similar long-game statistics as one elite player, but that guy holed more 10-to-20-footers. The difference between the two was about $3 million in earnings.

Last year, Poulter was ranked outside the top 100 on Tour in putting from inside 10 feet (109th) and from 10-15 feet (152nd).

“That’s too much to give up,” he said.

Poulter has adopted the popular AimPoint green-reading method, and this week he has made 4 of 9 attempts from 10-20 feet, a drastic improvement from a year ago, when he sank less than 25 percent of those putts.

“It gets smoke-screened by some good putting in a couple of big tournaments,” he said, “and that’s not good enough.”