Despite a triple-bogey-bogey finish to his second round, Ian Poulter is enjoying this year's edition of the U.S. Open. He just hasn't always felt that way.
"I've hated it for 14 years, I'm going to be honest," Poulter said after his Friday 72. "I came into my first U.S. Open, and I wanted to enjoy it, and I hated it. I hated a lot of U.S. Opens through the years, to be honest, because I've gone home early and I haven't had the finish that I would have liked."
The main reason Poulter is fonder of this year's event, he acknowledged, is the fact that he's in contention, sitting T4 five shots off leader Dustin Johnson. I'm 1 over par in a U.S. Open," he said. "I'm not sure how else to look at it. There's only a couple of U.S. Opens that, if someone offered you that on a Wednesday, where you perhaps wouldn't take it."
Poulter had plenty of praise for Shinnecock Hills, too, calling it a "great golf course" and a fair, challenging test. He felt the challenging part of that particularly at the end. As for his trouble around the green at No. 7?
"Yes, I felt stupid knifing the first one. I felt even more stupid semi-chunking the next one, and I didn't do much better on the next one either," he said. "So maybe it makes a few people happy out there that, you know, we kind of mess up just as good as, you know, everyone else. We're human, right? We make mistakes.
"I think the best outcome for me is to put it out of my mind, to look upon, you know, the position I'm in for this weekend. I'm T-4."
Poulter will tee off alongside Brooks Koepka in Saturday's third round.