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Poulter says he's the only golfer who can challenge Woods

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- The outspoken Ian Poulter caused a
stir on the eve of the Dubai Desert Classic by saying he was the
only player capable of challenging the supremacy of world No. 1 Tiger Woods.


"The trouble is I don't rate anyone else," the 32-year-old
Briton was quoted as saying in the March issue of the United Kingdom version of Golf World
magazine.

"Don't get me wrong, I really respect every professional
golfer, but I know I haven't played to my full potential and
when that happens, it will be just me and Tiger."

Poulter is ranked 22nd in the world and has seven European
Tour wins to his credit, but failed to qualify for the 12-man
team that beat United States in the 2006 Ryder Cup at the K Club
in Ireland.

The Englishman, asked by the magazine to predict the winner
of the first major of the season at the Masters in April,
replied: "Put Tiger down for that one."

For the year's second major at the U.S. Open, he said: "You
can put me down for that one."

Poulter, pictured nude in the magazine with only a
carefully-placed golf bag guarding his modesty, heaped praise on
Woods, who makes a rare foray to the European Tour for this
week's Dubai event.

"Tiger is one in a million," he said. "Actually Tiger is one
in 10 million.

"He is extraordinary. If you look at the rankings he is
almost two and a half times better than the guy in second place
[Phil Mickelson]."

Poulter, a member of Europe's victorious 2004 Ryder Cup team
at Oakland Hills, is known for his colorful dress sense and his
strident opinions.

"I do speak my mind," he told the magazine. "I am pretty
honest with what I say."