A little advice from the trenches

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 November, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 November, 2009, 12:00am

Ian Poulter has warned Rory McIlroy to expect battle fatigue as well as world-class fields when he makes the move to the PGA Tour next season.

The 20-year-old Northern Irishman is facing a gruelling schedule over the coming 12 months - something that the Englishman Poulter understands only too well, having played on both Tours since 2005.

'Rory's got himself in a position where he's 17th in the world,' Poulter (pictured), who won the Barclays Singapore Open two weeks ago, says.

'He has very quickly put himself on the big stage, and the way he plays, if he widens where he wants to play, then that's great.

'He's going to find himself playing in certain tournaments which have stronger fields than what he has played in over the last few years. He has played in all the majors now and in the WGCs. It's up to him, and if he wants to test himself at that level, then it's hard work.

'It seriously is hard work. I've done it for the past few years; it's very tiring, but you can do it,' Poulter adds.

'You can keep your status on the European Tour and the PGA Tour, and if you play great, you can finish high up on both lists.

'With the golf game he's got, I would expect him to still be finishing very high up on the order of merit on both sides, provided he gets his rest time in between all the travel that he will have to do. He'll have to do more travel than he has ever had to do in the past.'

Scheduling will be key to McIlroy's success, Poulter believes, as will be finding a suitable base in the US.

'You don't realise how much sitting on a plane for nine or 10 hours going across the Pond all the time takes out of you,' he says. 'He's going to find himself needing a base while he is over there so he can get the downtime away from the golf course.

'He's going to need to find somewhere to put his clothes and relax and watch telly and do the things that he would normally do at home. But I'm sure he's got that covered.'