MORE INTERVIEWS:Franklin Templeton Shootout transcripts archive
MARK STEVENS: We'd like to welcome Dustin Johnson and Ian Poulter, kind of defending champions this year. You weren't able to come back last year and defend the title you won two years ago.
Ian, are you looking at this at that? Have you guys talked to Brendan and Keegan about that or any smack talk?
IAN POULTER:No, I mean, there has been no talk to those guys with reference to that. Obviously our schedules didn't match up to come back and try and defend last year, but they've worked perfectly this year and I'm very happy to be partnering with Dustin again to go out there and play.
I think the format itself is fun for us to go and play. Our games are different, but yet they tie in very, very well in this format. Going to be a good three days.
MARK STEVENS: Dustin, you guys were just foes not too long ago in the Ryder Cup. Now you're paired together. Give your thoughts on that.
DUSTIN JOHNSON:Yeah, well, Ryder Cup is different. Nobody really likes each other that week. But this is a different week. It's a fun week. We won this a couple years ago; we didn't get to play last year.
I'm excited to be back. It's a really fun event; I enjoy it. I think me and Ian make great partners in this event.
MARK STEVENS: Questions.
Q. I'm from Germany, and I have a question that is not just related to this event. Both guys are with Schüco. Did you hear anything about it if there will be a tour event?
IAN POULTER:I'm not sure, to be honest with you. I haven't heard the update. I'm right there with you. I'm not filled in with the information.
DUSTIN JOHNSON:Yeah, I know just as much as you do: nothing.
Q. You guys obviously make a great pairing and complement each other so well. Tell me about what you think makes you such a great pairing.
DUSTIN JOHNSON:I think there are a number of reasons, but obviously I drive it pretty long. Either I drive in the fairway or he does and one of us hits it on the green and the other one makes the putt. Pretty simple recipe. We both putted really well two years ago.
That's the key to this is making putts. Obviously hitting some good shots, but the putter I think is definitely the key.
IAN POULTER:The golf course itself is fairly generous. I think it opens up for a lot of birdie action definitely in this format. I know, I'll be teeing off first like I did a few years ago.
Certainly will open up the fairway for Dustin. We all know how far he hits it off the tee. And given a number of these holes and pin locations out here, if he hits one out there 350, I'm probably going in with a sand iron or a lob wedge to most the long holes.
It's a fun position to be in, because my stats inside 100 yards are pretty good, and Dustin finished out pretty well. It's kind of a lethal combination. Hopefully we can gel like we did two years ago and have some fun on Sunday afternoon.
Q. Ian, the sense I get is you're almost considered like a basketball or football player, hockey, in that you relate well to crowds. Almost seems like noise and boisterousness picks you up. Did you respond to that in the Ryder Cup?
IAN POULTER:Ryder Cup is Ryder Cup. It's not difficult to get fired up for the Ryder Cup.
So yeah, you know, everybody on both sides were fired up. It's that simple. There is no love lost there in Ryder Cup. It's just for a week every two years, thankfully.
There is a lot passion for it out on the golf course. Whether you feed form the vibe, the electricity from the fans or whether it's just your home crowd or it's your family and friends in the crowd giving you a good pump, it's just Ryder Cup. Ryder Cup is different to any other form of golf that we okay any other week.
Q. Is there any way you can describe that run of five birdies in a row. They talk about the zone, but was it that or something else for you?
IAN POULTER:You can call to the zone. I don't know what you would want to call it. It was a good five birdies is what it was.
Q. How about you m watching that performance on Saturday? Seemed like it changed the momentum in the Ryder Cup.
DUSTIN JOHNSON:Well, I mean, obviously it was a good win for them because I think we won the first two matches already. Yeah, I mean, definitely gave them a little bit of momentum.
We still had a pretty good lead going into the singles. We usually fare pretty well in the singles. Just wasn't meant to be. That's all I can say.
Q. Outside of talking about it in here, is that topic off limites between the two of you are?
IAN POULTER:No. Why does he want to upset me or me upset him. He's my partner, right? Come on. We want to try and win this thing this week. I'm not going to bring it up. There is no point. (Laughter.)
Q. Ian you said the Ryder Cup is the Ryder Cup. Would you ever think about bringing more emotion into your game on a weekly basis?
IAN POULTER:You can't do it. I'm not going to stand on the first hole having my eye bulging out fist pumping going crazy, because they're going to go, What is this idiot doing? (Laughing.) In Ryder Cup you're going to do it.
You can't do that on the first hole of a 72 hole stroke play even. Doesn't happen, but it happened in Ryder Cup. It just does.
It's the only event in the world that is ever going to create that drama, that intensity, that pressure. But it's right. It's fitting. Stroke play is just not going to be there.
Trust me, I've tried. (Laughter.)
Q. What did it mean for you to miss last year?
IAN POULTER:I mean, Dubai was on the same week as this last year, so it didn't fit in the schedule. Dustin couldn't play either. So when the schedule got changed for this year and we were able to kind of talk and agree that we can come back and try and defend our title from 2010, I guess, we were both pretty happy to do it.
Q. Are you back 100% now?
DUSTIN JOHNSON:Hundred percent. Has knee surgery last year in the off season. Just went in with a little scope so wasn't anything major. Yeah, back 100%.
Q. Thoughts on the anchoring ban?
DUSTIN JOHNSON:For me, I really don't have an opinion. I don't care either way. I just really don't have an opinion because it doesn't really pertain to me.
IAN POULTER:I don't putt with a long one so doesn't affect me. I agree with the ruling, but that's it.
MARK STEVENS: Thanks a lot guys, good luck this week.