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Ian Poulter aiming to stop rankings slide

November 12, 2014

Ian Poulter temporarily stopped a slide that had him pointed in a direction he has not been in nearly a decade.

He has not been out of the top 50 in the world since Sept. 10, 2006.

Poulter lost ground on the leaders with a 72-71 weekend in the HSBC Champions, though it still was good enough to tie for sixth. That allowed him to move up four spots in the world ranking to No. 40 going into the Turkish Airlines Open this week.

Even so, it was only his third top-10 finish of the year. He tied for fifth in the China Open and tied for sixth in the St. Jude Classic. And while his chip-in on the 15th hole in the Ryder Cup was the turning point in earning a halve with Rory McIlroy in fourballs, it was his first Ryder Cup without winning a match (0-1-2).

And, yes, he's aware of all this.

''I've had three injuries this year and I'm angry,'' Poulter said last week. ''I'm angry at the position I've put myself in. I'm annoyed that I wasn't able to take the time off I needed playing two schedules.''

The upside is that he is happy with his switch to Titleist clubs, he feels fit and he is ''fresh in the mind.''

Poulter made news for reasons he wasn't expecting when he published his book, ''No Limits,'' and excerpts led to former PGA of America President Ted Bishop referring to him as a ''Lil Girl'' for his candid comments about Nick Faldo and Tom Watson. Bishop wound up losing his job.

''The book wasn't a distraction,'' Poulter said. ''It was just an unfortunate circumstance, which was stressful.''

Poulter plans to do a formal launch in London after the European Tour season ends in Dubai. But there won't be much of an offseason. Depending on how he fares the next two weeks, Poulter said he might start his season in Hawaii at the Sony Open, which he hasn't played in 10 years.

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