Poulter closes gap on Scott
Singapore - Australia's Adam Scott clung on to a one-shot lead over defending champion Ian Poulter of England and South Korea's Kang Kyung-Nam after the third round of the Singapore Open on Saturday.
The Australian, twice a winner here, carded a two-under par 69 for a total of 14-under 199 in humid conditions at the Sentosa Golf Club's par 71 Serapong course.
US Open champion Graeme McDowell also remained in strong contention for the title with a solid round of 68 to go 12-under par 201, two shots behind the Australian.
Scott refused to dwell on a missed birdie putt on the last hole which would have given him a more comfortable two-stroke cushion over Poulter and Kang.
"One more would have been nice but two shots are nothing. You saw that today I had a two-shot lead and it was gone in the fourth," said the 30-year-old Australian who won here in 2005 and 2006.
"Two shots and one shot is not a big lead and we've seen all year, anyone with a lead is certainly under pressure on Sunday because guys from behind have nothing to lose.
"So I am happy to be out in front, one might just be enough for me tomorrow hopefully."
Poulter, who had started two shots behind the Australian, got off to a solid start with a birdie and an eagle on the front nine but was let down by a bogey at the 14th.
Overall, the Englishman was pleased with his round and liked his chances of lifting the trophy for a second time which also comes with a winner's cheque of one million dollars.
"I played very solid and have given myself a chance for Sunday. That's all I can ask for after coming here to defend my title," said Poulter, adding he was prepared for the hot conditions.
"It is tight on the leaderboard with world class players and we got a number of guys behind us. It is going to be an interesting Sunday," he said.
PGA champion Martin Kaymer, who had been hoping to extend stretch his lead over McDowell in the Race to Dubai, has his work out going into the final round with the German seven shots behind at seven-under par 206.
McDowell knows he will have to keep his concentration if he is to add a fourth title to what has been a stellar season for him this year.
"I played solid today and obviously I was trying to make an impact," said the 31-year-old from Northern Ireland who made crucial putts to stay in touch with the leaderboard.
"The boys were obviously making an impact especially with Scott and Poulter having a bit of a tussle behind and hopefully I can get into the mix tomorrow.
"I'm going out there tomorrow and do my job."
Phil Mickelson is out of contention after posting a disastrous four-over 75 to leave the Masters champion two-under par 211 after three rounds.
"You have got to make putts here and I struggle on the greens, I have a hard time reading them again," said the American who was playing here for the fourth year running.
"For the most part I kept the ball in play until I got to 18 and I hit a couple of balls in the water and made triple."
The tournament is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and Asian Tour for the second year running.
Third round scores from the $6 million Barclays Singapore Open at Sentosa Golf Club on Saturday:
199 - Adam Scott (AUS) 65-65-69
200 - Ian Poulter (ENG) 69-63-68, Kang Kyung-nam (KOR) 66-67-67
201 - Graeme McDowell (NIR) 65-68-68
202 - Anders Hansen (DEN) 71-66-65
203 - Jamie Donaldson (WAL) 66-69-68
204 - Prayad Marksaeng (THA) 69-65-70, Rikard Karlberg (SWE) 64-70-70
205 - Francesco Molinari (ITA) 69-69-67, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (ESP) 67-69-69, Yang Yong-Eun (KOR) 66-73-66, Liang Wenchong (CHN) 69-65-71, Joost Luiten (NED)
206 - Darren Beck (AUS) 70-67-69, Keith Horne (RSA) 65-72-69, Johan Edfors (SWE) 66-71-69, Rahil Gangjee (IND) 70-67-69, Peter Lawrie (IRL) 67-71-68, Martin Kaymer (GER) 68-68-70
207 - Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 67-70-70, Mardan Mamat (SIN) 68-70-69, Chris Wood (ENG) 63-73-71, David Drysdale (SCO) 68-70-69, Hiroshi Iwata (JPN) 66-70-71
208 - Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP) 66-71-71, Shigeki Maruyama (JPN) 64-74-70, Nick Doherty (ENG) 65-72-71, Soren Kjeldsen (DEN) 69-69-70, Colin Montgomerie (SCO) 70-68-70, Raphael Jacquelin (FRA) 66-70-72, John Huh (KOR) 70-65-73, Gregory Bourdy (FRA) 70-65-73, Jeev Milkha Singh (IND) 70-64-74, Fredrik Andersson Hed (SWE) 68-65-75
211 - Phil Mickelson (USA) 67-69-75