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Ian Poulter hits huge drives for charity

Ian Poulter and Paul Casey began their 2006 season in spectacular style at Abu Dhabi International airport today. Onlookers were astonished to see Poulter and Casey scale the side of a plane to a specially designed tee, situated on the wing of Etihad Airways Boeing 767 wing.

It took little persuasion to get Poulter and Casey wing walking to take on the Challenge laid down by Etihad Airways. They both registered several ‘wing assisted’ drives of over 600 yards, with Poulter’s biggest hit measuring 696 yard narrowly beating Casey’s 689 yard effort. Despite a valiant effort from the British Ryder Cup stars they couldn’t quite match the official world record long drive of 720 yards but Poulter’s drive was the longest ever recorded in the Middle East.

The unofficial record attempt on the runway of Abu Dhabi International Airport formed part of a special events programme surrounding Etihad Airways sponsorship of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Golf Championships. “It is very exciting for Etihad Airways to be involved in a world record attempt like this. Once again Etihad is demonstrating its passion for innovation and style with two of the world’s best golfers,” said Ian Ferguson-Brown, Head of Corporate Communications, Etihad Airways.

Poulter commented “I have been to Abu Dhabi before, so I was delighted that Etihad invited me to promote their association with the new event. I was a little surprised to hear what they had in mind, but once I was up on the wing it was fun.” Poulter continued “I’m really looking forward to 2006. It’s a big year with the Ryder Cup and I want to get into contention in the Majors. I have worked hard this winter and aim to make a fast start this week in Abu Dhabi.”

Casey has his sights firmly on the Ryder Cup too and as things stand at the moment he holds one of the five qualifying positions available through the Ryder Cup European Points List but he is aware there is a long way to go. When asked about the prospects of making the team for the second time Casey responded in determined mood “I have started the 2006 season well with my victory in China but I need to keep performing to the best of my ability to get on the team. There is a wealth of talent in Europe which makes the task even harder but that strength in depth bodes well for the quality of the final line-up.”

January 19, 2006


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