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Ian Poulter determined to regain focus after disappointing Masters

By Phil Casey

Ian Poulter has admitted that he needs to ignore off-course distractions to get back to his best after an ultimately disappointing week at the Masters.

Poulter was just three shots off the lead after an opening 69 at Augusta, but dropped out of contention with a 78 on Friday and slumped to an 82 on Saturday, his worst score in 12 Masters appearances by four shots.

The 40-year-old become embroiled in a dispute with a journalist on Twitter over the weekend and when asked after a closing 71 what he needs to do to improve, Poulter said: "Get rid of the distractions.

"(I'm) still not doing a good enough job to get rid of those distractions. I paid the price yet again. So I guess I need to be more ruthless and respect my time a bit more and if I do that, then I've got half a chance."

The Masters is currently the only Major which Poulter can play in 2016 after dropping to 62nd in the world rankings following three years without a win, although he was third in the Puerto Rico Open a fortnight ago.

"Heading towards the US Open I'm not in," Poulter added. "So I need to move back into the top 50. I'll play it week by week. I'm playing next week at Hilton Head.

"If I had started the season nicely I was going to take three weeks off, so it's not likely. I'll just see how we get on next week. I've worked pretty hard until now to get my game in shape, so this week's really disappointing. It could have been a week that I could have taken advantage of. I didn't, so it hurts."

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