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POULTER produces earth-moving performance at UBS HONG KONG OPEN

Friday, 19 November 2010:


On a day when Hong Kong experienced earthquake tremors measuring 2.8 on the Richter Scale, Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter produced an earth-shattering second round 60 at the UBS Hong Kong Open to take a one stroke lead into the weekend.


The Englishman was in irresistible form as he conjured ten birdies en route to the 13 under par lead. Playing alongside Rory McIlroy, who was neck-and-neck with his Ryder Cup team-mate until a three-shot swing on the 18th hole, the dynamic duo treated the Fanling crowds to a golfing masterclass as they ripped it round the Hong Kong Golf Club.


McIlroy was one stroke ahead of Poulter on the 18th tee,  but while McIlroy’s finish was a damp squib, making a double bogey six after finding the water, Poulter produced a sparkling birdie to post a 60 and take a one-shot lead over Anthony Kang.


McIlroy, who holed his seven iron approach for an eagle two on the ninth hole, is joined in a tie for third place on 11 under with former UBS Open champion Simon Dyson, while Race to Dubai contender Graeme McDowell finished the day on ten under alongside teen sensation Matteo Manassero, Jeev Milkha Singh, Anders Hansen and Thongchai Jaidee.


But the day belonged to the imperious Poulter who was actually slightly disappointed after his round as he knew he will rarely have a better chance to shoot golf’s magic number of 59 no matter how much longer he plays the game.


“I do have mixed emotions,” admitted the World Number 14. “It’s one of those golf courses if you get off to a decent start, you feel as if you can shoot a low number and five under on the front nine was a great score.


“I had five birdies in a row from the 7th and then as soon as that happened, I kind of felt there’s plenty of chances coming for the 59. It was on alright. I mean, I hit a great putt at 17.  I really wouldn’t have had it back again I thought it was in all the way but then a foot from the hole it stayed right on the grain. So I am happy, but slightly disappointed.


“Rory and I had a great battle today – the birdies around the middle of the course were good.  Rory coming down the middle of 9 holes a 7 iron, which I thought was pretty cheeky, great shot that it was.  And I managed to roll a 30  foot putt in on top of him which was nice.


“He then holes a nice 15 footer on the next and I kind of roll it in from three feet and then I hit it stiff on 11.  So it was a good match.  I knew he was going to play well today and I knew I had to go out there and shoot a low score obviously to stay in touch.  I’m sure he’s a little disappointed to finish like that, but Rory is playing well and it’s going to be an exciting weekend.


“I did feel the earth move today – on the 14th tee. I wondered what it was as I was just about to put my ball on the tee peg and I did feel a little tremor.”


PHOTO CAPTION 1(Getty Images ©): Ian Poulter in action during the second round of the UBS Hong Kong Open

PHOTO CAPTION 2(Getty Images ©): Rory McIlroy in action during the second round of the UBS Hong Kong Open




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