HOYLAKE, England — Ian Poulter heads into the British Open with a sore right wrist, some positive thoughts from a third-place finish last year at Muirfield, and no — and he means no — memories of a missed cut at Royal Liverpool in 2006.
Scans of the wrist he jarred during the second round of the Scottish Open, where he missed the cut, showed no serious injury.
"I've had a ganglion cyst on the wrist in the past ... three of them," Poulter said on Tuesday. "It's just touching the nerve, so I'll be chewing some anti-inflammatories and some painkillers for the week. But its good news, it means there's no tendon damage."
The 38-year-old Poulter cut short a questioner when asked for his thoughts from the last time the Open was at Royal Liverpool eight years ago, when he shot 75-76 to miss the weekend by eight strokes.
"I've erased all of them, I get rid of them," he interjected. "I detest them ... I don't really need to waste any of my brain cells thinking back to a bad week. Sorry to cut that one (question) really short."
Poulter's best finish at the British Open was second place at Royal Birkdale in 2008, four strokes behind winner Padraig Harrington. Since then, Poulter has had two missed cuts, a tie for 60th, tie for ninth in 2012, and tie for third last year at Muirfield, four strokes behind winner Phil Mickelson.
He says he's a better player now than the last Open at Royal Liverpool in 2006.
"I know my golf game has changed," he said. "I understand links golf better now, I'm a more experienced player, and with the record I've got in the Open, I feel comfortable hitting certain shots and being aggressive when I need to. Perhaps I didn't realize that in 2006."
Poulter will get a chance to make amends on a course he says is "a little softer, a little greener" than it was in 2006.
He'll play the first two rounds with Americans Dustin Johnson and Jimmy Walker.