Poulter says he was misquoted by magazine regarding Tiger

Updated: January 31, 2008, 2:34 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- An irate Ian Poulter said on Thursday he was misquoted in a magazine article that suggested he was the only player capable of challenging the supremacy of Tiger Woods.

Talk Of The Tournament?

Whether or not he was misquoted, Ian Poulter is now inextricably linked to Tiger Woods, at least for the duration of the Dubai Desert Classic. How their respective first rounds compare:

Today at Dubai
  Woods Poulter
Score 65 (-7) 70 (-2)
Position 1st T-43
Birdies 7 4
Bogeys 0 2
Fairways hit 12/14 8/14
Greens in reg. 15/18 15/18
Putts 27 31

Poulter, 32, said the article in the March edition of Golf World UK 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 2-under-par 70. "It was taken out of context."

Poulter, ranked 22nd in the world 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."

In the magazine, Poulter was quoted as saying, "The trouble is I don't rate anyone else. 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 wanted to set the record straight on Thursday.

"The question was asked, where do I see myself and could I get to No. 1 in the world. My answer to that question was, 'As long as Tiger Woods is playing golf, I can't get to No. 1 in the world and nor can many other players. And quite frankly, if I do fulfill my potential, I do believe the gap between me and second is achievable, so therefore I do have a chance of getting second in the world if I work hard and fulfill my potential.'

"Therefore, the comment was, 'It would be a dream to sit back one day and look at the world rankings and see it say, Tiger Woods and then me.'

"Well, if you shorten that phrase down, 'Tiger Woods and then me,' you get what you've got in the paper today, or the magazine."

Golf World UK's editor, Chris Jones, said Poulter's manager was pleased with the interview and suggested that people read the entire article.

" Ian's manager is happy with the interview as it appeared in the March issue of Golf World magazine, where Ian's comments can be seen in the full context they were intended. People should read the full interview, rather than the juicy soundbites picked up by the British media," Jones said in an e-mail statement.

Poulter also said he did not mean to say he did not "rate" anyone else. "That also was answered not in a few words, but probably in a minute's quote in to say that Tiger Woods is so far ahead of everyone else, to look at everyone else you have to look at Tiger Woods.

"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. "It's very frustrating. What more can I say?

"It's a great shame, but if people do do that and the press want to do that, then you're left in an unfortunate situation with egg on your face and I think that's very sad."

Poulter, who said he had not seen a copy of the full article, added that the interview took place three months ago, and he had not heard from the magazine since. Golf World U.K. is not affiliated with the U.S.-based weekly Golf World, which is published by Golf Digest Companies.

Information from Reuters and the Associated Press was used in this report.