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Ian Poulter hopeful of breaking Major drought

Ian Poulter insists there is no pressure on Europeans to end their major golf title drought at the PGA Championship starting on Thursday and that the 29-year-old Briton himself might do the trick.

"I'm pretty confident that I can go out there and if I play good for the four days, then I'm going to win this golf tournament," Poulter said on Monday about the chances of being the first European in six years and 25 tries to win a major.

Poulter, however, will have to overcome a tension-induced injury if he is to wrest the title from defender Vijay Singh of Fiji and block the surging Tiger Woods from claiming his third major of 2005 after wins at the Masters and British Open.

The stylish Briton, with the spiky blond-tipped hair and exotic wardrobe, said he was back on track after straining ligaments practising last Tuesday using a swing aid meant to increase tension around the knees.

Poulter said it was easy to explain the lack of a European title winner in the majors since Paul Lawrie won the 1999 British Open at Carnoustie.

"I mean when you've got guys like Tiger and Vijay, Ernie (Els), Retief (Goosen), Phil Mickelson winning majors, I guess it doesn't leave a lot of room for the other guys to be winning some," he said.

"But I'm sure one of the European guys is going to come through soon," added Poulter, who finished 11th at the British Open despite a bogey, three-putt finish at St. Andrews.

Poulter named 24-year-old Luke Donald of Britain and Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland as Europeans with a good chance.

The PGA Championship has often produced first-time major winners, with the likes of Shaun Micheel (2003), Rich Beem (2002), David Toms (2001), Davis Love (1997), Mark Brooks (1996) and Steve Elkington (1995) claiming that distinction in the last decade.

A European victory would also end another dubious streak as no European golfer has won the PGA since Scotland-born Tommy Armour 75 years ago.

Known for his outlandish fashion styles, including Union Jack patterned trousers at the 2004 British Open followed by a pair this year that pictured the coveted Claret Jug, Poulter brings some game along with wardrobe, having won six times on the European Tour, most recently at last year's Volvo Masters.

Asked if he had any special wardrobe in the works for this week, Poulter said "As always, as always," but refused to hint at the surprise to come.


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