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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 January 2008, 13:28 GMT
I'm Tiger's main threat - Poulter
Ian Poulter (left) and Tiger Woods
Poulter believes he can be on a par with Woods
Ian Poulter is set to infuriate his rival professionals after claiming he is the only one capable of challenging world number one Tiger Woods.

The world number 22 made his comments in the March edition of Golf World.

"The trouble is I don't rate anyone else," said the extrovert Englishman. "Don't get me wrong, I respect everyone who is a professional.

"But the problem is I haven't played to my full potential yet. And when that happens it will just be me and Tiger."

606: DEBATE

Woods has 13 majors and 85 career titles to his name, while Poulter has won seven tournaments.

The 32-year-old Poulter, when asked for his predictions on who would win the Masters in April, replied: "Put Tiger down for that one".

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

Poulter, pictured nude in the magazine with only a golf bag guarding his modesty, admitted he was nowhere near challenging Woods yet.

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

POULTER V WOODS
Career earnings: Poulter 6m, Woods 45m
Career titles: Poulter 7, Woods 83
World ranking: Poulter 22nd, Woods 1st
Fashion: Nobody, not even Tiger, can compete with Poulter's outlandish dress sense
Hairstyle: Poulter has had more changes of hairstyles than you have had hot dinners
Result: It's a narrow win for Tiger, his golfing prowess sees him to victory. Sorry, Ian
"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 colourful dress sense and his strident opinions.

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

But his comments are sure to see him ridiculed by some of his counterparts on the golf circuit.

Poulter and Woods will both be competing at the Dubai Desert Classic, which starts on Thursday.

And reports suggest the Briton's fellow professionals may all give each other a prearranged signal on the driving range and disappear, leaving just Poulter and Woods practising.

Woods said on Wednesday that he never imagined he would have won so many majors at this stage of his career.

"When I first turned pro could I ever have foreseen this happening this soon in my career? No, certainly not. Not having 13 majors by the time I'm 32," he said.

"I wouldn't have foreseen getting to that point because at the time my game wasn't good enough. I had not matured and had not understood how to play the game.

"Over the years understanding how to manage my game around the course and getting the most out of it every day, that takes experience.

"When I first turned pro there is no way I could ever have foreseen that. I didn't have that experience. I didn't have that knowledge to get around the course."

And he admitted to having self doubts from time to time.

"Of course they do," he said. "That's part of the game of golf and part of life.

"You have those doubts and the whole idea is to obviously keep pushing through and keep improving and have a game plan to execute."



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