Ian Poulter bullish over chances of beating Henrik Stenson in Race to Dubai
Ian Poulter hopes to end a "disappointing year" on a high as he bids to be crowned European No 1 for the first time.
Last Updated: 12/11/13 3:00pm
The Ryder Cup hero has risen to fourth in the Race to Dubai standings ahead of this week's lucrative, season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
The Englishman has enjoyed a good spell of late-season form, finishing 15th, second and fifth in the first three events of the inaugural Final Series.
A win on Sunday would earn Poulter the Race to Dubai title if current leader Henrik Stenson does not finish second, while Justin Rose and Graeme McDowell would top the money list with a victory regardless of how Stenson fares.
Poulter has proved his ability to perform under pressure in the Ryder Cup, and he is confident he can thrive as an individual in Dubai.
"It would mean a lot," said Poulter. "I think the year has been disappointing but I guess I'm slowly turning that round at the back end of the year, which I have done a few times before.
"If I could win this week and win the Race to Dubai that would be a huge achievement for myself as a personal goal. That's something that every player wants to do.
"I've always done well under pressure, like my school report and school work. I never handed it in until the last minute. I always produced my best at the last minute. It's too easy early in the season isn't it?"
Poulter lost a play-off to Robert Karlsson at this event in 2010 in bizarre circumstances when he dropped his ball on his marker to incur a one-shot penalty.
"I'm pretty confident for this week and fancy my chances," he added. "I love the golf course. I've played it really well in the past, apart from a Tiddlywink incident on the play-off hole!"
Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia and Charl Schwartzel are ineligible after failing to comply with a European Tour regulation which states players must play in two of the three previous Final Series events to qualify.
Els has urged the European Tour to change the qualifying criteria for next season, and Poulter added: "The rule was put in place; they may have got it slightly wrong. It's difficult sometimes to be able to play enough events everywhere to keep everybody happy.
"It would be nice to have Ernie, Sergio and Charl in the field and I'm sure that will be looked at and addressed. Everybody makes mistakes. I think it's a mistake that won't be made again. I think it will change for next year."
European Tour chief executive George O'Grady is set to reveal modifications to the format on Sunday, although eight-time European No 1 Colin Montgomerie believes the Tour should "hold firm".
"The players are saying they are being dictated to and being told where to play, but you shouldn't have to be told to play for £7m should you?" said the Scot last week.
Watch the final event of the European Tour live on Sky Sports 4, first round coverage starts at 8am on Thursday morning