DUBAI (Reuters) - An angry Ian Poulter said on Thursday he was misquoted in a magazine article which suggested he was the only player capable of challenging the supremacy of world number one Tiger Woods.
The 32-year-old said the article in the March edition of Golf World had left him “in an unfortunate situation with egg on my face”.
“I was misquoted,” Poulter told reporters after opening his Dubai Desert Classic campaign with a two-under-par 70. “It was taken out of context.”
Poulter, ranked 22nd in the world and with seven European Tour wins to his name, said the level of media reaction to the article had weighed heavily on his shoulders.
“I have had it on my mind since last night,” he said. “You put the Internet on and it’s THE (golf) story.
“The story is also I couldn’t get my word (of reply) in before everyone else. I have to try and explain the situation of how it was actually said, as opposed to how it has been written.
“Two very different themes.”
In the magazine, Poulter was quoted as saying he did not rate anyone else apart from Woods.
It also said the Englishman had not yet played to his full potential but “when that happens it will be just me and Tiger.”
Poulter said he had taken probably a minute to answer a question “not just a few words.”
“That’s how it has come out but that’s not how it was said and that’s a shame...a great shame,” he added.
Poulter wanted to set the record straight on Thursday.
“Can I get to number one in the world ? No, I can’t really, not while Tiger is playing golf,” he said. “Can I get to number two, yeah.
“Justin (Rose) has moved up so far in the world rankings (to seventh) after last year. If he has the same year he had last year there’s a chance of him taking the number two spot.
“If people do play well over a period of two years, you can get to number two (but) you cannot reach Tiger.
“So the quote to say it would be a dream to see Tiger Woods and then me in the rankings as you look down, what’s wrong with saying that? Is it being rude? Is it being disrespectful to everybody else? I don’t think so.”
Poulter said he did not mean to say he did not rate anyone else.
“There are world-class golfers everywhere and I play against them week-in and week-out, and again that’s been taken slightly the wrong way and it has been put on paper in a shortened version of how I explained it,” he said.
“You let people in your house for three hours and you do a nice, private interview and this is what happens. Very unfortunate.”
Editing by Trevor Huggins