Golf

Poulter blows Singapore lead

2009-10-31 15:39
Ian Poulter (File)

Singapore - Ian Poulter blew a commanding five-shot advantage on Saturday to share the third round clubhouse lead with Thomas Levet and Kodai Ichihara at the Barclays Singapore Open.

The flamboyant Englishman played 15 holes on Saturday morning to conclude his second round and was on fire with a sizzling 64, opening up a huge lead from Sweden's Daniel Chopra and Taiwanese qualifier Chan Yih-Shin.

But his touch deserted him when he came back out for his third round, dropping four shots in the six holes he played before a lightning storm ended play early, with no-one yet finished.

"It wasn't the best start. I three putted the first and then went for the green in two on the fourth from a bad lie and hit it in the water," he said. As Poulter was struggling, Frenchman Levet and Japan's Ichihara were picking up shots.

All three are eight under for the tournament with Australia's Andrew Dodt and China's Liang Wenchong a shot further back in a share of fourth.

None of them has played more than nine holes, meaning a long day Sunday if they have any hope of finishing the tournament on time.

Levet, who has battled his way back to fitness after bouts of vertigo hurt his game throughout 2006 and 2007, said he loved being at the front, and was ready to finish the job on Sunday.

"I am very happy with the way that I am playing at the moment and I am looking forward to Sunday because I love the battle," he said.

"I am in a share of the lead which is good because I haven't actually made that many great putts yet and I am hoping that will come and they will drop more often for me. If my driving gets better then we will be alright.

"I like to be in the lead and I like to try and move forward because then everyone else has to catch me and it's a nice feeling," he added, suggesting 10 under could be a winning score.

Liang, a former Asian number one, is also ready for the fight and said he was enjoying himself.

"I'm just trying to enjoy the golf. I finished top-5 in Johor last week which locked up my Tour card for next season. I've got no pressure at all now and my confidence is also up," he said.

"I'm going to try and play for a win as I'm in a good position. I've been in contention a few times here now so hopefully that experience will help me on Sunday."

Further down the field Adam Scott, a two-time champion in Singapore, finally found some form after a miserable year of missed cuts.

He likes the Sentosa course, having won the tournament in 2005 and 2006, and picked up four shots on his opening nine to be five behind the leaders.

World number two Phil Mickelson again struggled to find any consistency. He stroked four birdies in his opening nine but three bogeys soon after left him at two under and stuck on the 15th hole.

Elsewhere, two early bogeys for Ireland's three-time Major-winner Padraig Harrington put paid to any hopes he had.

Earlier, Australia's Geoff Ogilvy, fifth in the Race to Dubai, and Korea's K.J Choi, who won last weekend's Johor Open on the Asian Tour, missed the cut.

Second round scores from the weather-affected $5m Singapore Open at Sentosa Golf Club on Saturday:

130 - Ian Poulter (ENG) 66-64

135 - Daniel Chopra (SWE) 70-65, Chan Yih-Shin (TPE) 67-68

136 - Ernie Els 67-69, Graeme McDowell (IRL) 71-65, Soren Kjeldsen (DEN) 69-67, Kodai Ichihara (JPN) 68-68, Niclas Fasth (SWE) 69-67, Thomas Levet (FRA) 68-68

137 - Andrew Dodt (AUS) 69-68, Liang Wenchong (CHN) 69-68, Peter Lawrie (IRL) 71-66

138 - Scott Hend (AUS) 72-66, Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 71-67, Ross McGowan (ENG) 69-69, Lam Chih Bing (SIN) 69-69

139 - Richard Finch (ENG) 71-68, Sam Hutsby (ENG) 69-70, Anders Hansen (DEN) 68-71, Alexander Noren (SWE) 70-69, Lin Wen-Tang (TPE) 69-70

140 - James Kingston (RSA) 74-66, Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 72-68, Chapchai Nirat (THA) 73-67, Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 73-67, Phil Mickelson (USA) 69-71, Kenichi Kuboya 70-70 (JPN), Gregory Bourdy (FRA) 73-67

141 - Felipe Aguilar (CHI) 68-73, Rodney Pampling (AUS) 72-69, Richard Green (AUS) 68-73, Tony Carolan (AUS) 74-67, Daniel Vancsik (ARG) 70-71, Nick Redfern (ENG) 71-70, Mikko Ilonen (FIN) 74-67, Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 69-72, Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP) 74-67, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (ESP) 72-69, Bae Sang-Moon (KOR) 73-68, Mardan Mamat (SIN) 72-69, Jeppe Huldahl (SWE) 75-66

Selected:

143 - Padraig Harrington (IRL), 74-69 Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 71-72, Adam Scott (AUS) 72-71, Danny Lee (NZL) 71-72

144 - Geoff Ogilvy (AUS) 70-74, Shiv Kapur (IND) 72-72, KJ Choi (KOR) 74-70

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