Written by
Mar 12 2024

LIV Golf League star Ian Poulter hopes he can get back to winning ways at the US$2million International Series Macau presented by Wynn, the Asian Tour-sanctioned event which is making its debut in Macau this week.

The Majesticks GC co-captain is one of over 20 stars from the LIV Golf League battling it out with the cream of the Asian Tour at the second in a schedule of 10 elevated tournaments on the Asian Tour this season, taking place from 14-17 March at the Macau Golf & Country Club.

Poulter was joined by Andy Ogletree (HyFlyers GC), Sergio Garcia (Fireballs GC) and Asian Tour rising star Taichi Kho at a special press conference at Wynn Palace today (Tuesday) in front of over 70 media today.

Poulter has tasted success already in the region before, winning the Hong Kong Open back in 2010, and the Englishman, a Ryder Cup legend for Team Europe, is hoping to get back to winning ways on the Macau Golf & Country Club this week.

Poulter, who finished T8 at LIV Golf Hong Kong last week, is a popular figure in Asia and he said: “I don’t know if it was the crazy hairdo or the silly trousers but fans always seemed to like me playing out here and it is nice to have had a decent bit of success. Hopefully we can play well for the fans come out to watch us.”

Reflecting on his good performance last week he added: “I have done a lot of statistical work to review errors in my game, and in fact the whole team did and we have done a good job to make significant gains in certain areas.

“My putting last couple of weeks hasn’t been as good as I would like. Going into this week, I like this course. I remember in 2016 I got off to a fast start in the first round but didn’t finish it off, and hopefully I’m trending in the right direction this week.”

Ogletree is making his first return to The International Series since joining the LIV Golf League in 2024 as Order of Merit champion. The 25-year-old, who won in Qatar and England last year, is relishing the prospect of making his return in Macau after playing in a fun nearest-the-pin challenge from the Wynn Palace rooftop last year, as part of the event announcement.

He said: “I’m really enjoying LIV Golf and it wouldn’t be possible without how I prepared on The International Series. I felt it prepared me very well about different courses, and travelling the world, and scheduling my week with practice, and adjusting to conditions. This year I will be trying to use these events to stay sharp.

“To sum up, my form hasn’t been very good. It’s frustrating but I’m figuring out my game and working out a few things. LIV Golf has been a bit of an adjustment for me, but I think good golf is on the way and I will just try to do my best this week.”

Garcia, a six-time winner in the region already in an illustrious career that yielded 36 international trophies, said: “I’ve been fortunate to travel around the world and play a lot of time in Asia, it is always fun to come back and feel welcome and see the people.

“I’m looking forward to it and I should get some good preparation so I can get ready for the tournament and go out and give it my best shot.

“I had a good start to the year in Mayakoba. I feel my game is fairly good, not amazing, but I’m working hard on it and on the mental side of it. It’s good to be here in Macau for the first time and I look forward to giving myself a shot.”

Kho is one of those aspiring young players battling it out on The International Series in search of all-important rankings points. A T2 at the Volvo China Open and T6 at the International Series Singapore last year showed how talented the Hong Kong golfer is.

The 23-year-old, who won the World City Championship in his hometown last year, is confident The International Series is fast tracking his game. He said: “I think The International Series has done so much good for my game. Being able to play with players with such a high standard of field is an incredible accelerator for growth.

“For me to learn from these major champions and Ryder Cup stars and multiple tournament winners, gives me insights into how I can improve my game. I felt last season I did a good job growing after each tournament, and I’m feeling strong, my game is coming together and really looking forward to this week.”