Poulter says now is time to end England’s US Open drought

California: There has never been a better chance of ending the long English drought at the US Open than this week at Pebble Beach, European Order of Merit leader Ian Poulter said on Monday.

“If you’re a betting man, your chances now are better than ever before,” the world number eight told Reuters, referencing the rankings as he left the driving range to practice his chipping at the famed Pacific coast course.

Poulter is one of four Englishmen within the top nine in the world along with number three Lee Westwood, Luke Donald (six) and Paul Casey (nine), all of whom will be looking to become the first English player since Tony Jacklin in 1970 to win the title.

The 34-year-old Poulter, taking extra practice after playing his first nine holes at Pebble Beach, already had a strong vibe about the key to attacking the course after getting his first glimpse of the scenic layout.

“Distance control from the fairway,” Poulter said after chipping a small bucket of balls up to a tight pin on the lightning-quick practice surface.

“Tiny little greens. You’ve got to be accurate, got to keep it under the hole. The best way to describe this course is you’ve got to be under the hole on every hole.”

An avid fan of English Premier League club Arsenal, Poulter said he was disappointed in England’s 1-1 draw against the United States in their opening World Cup soccer match, but as in golf he expects a much better showing going forward.

“Bad result, but it’s a group match, it doesn’t matter. But it’s a terrible result,” he said. “They will be a much better side in the next game, that’s for sure.”

Bureau Report

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