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Stunning finish sees POULTER assume control of UBS HONG KONG OPEN

Saturday, 20 November 2010:


Ian Poulter finished in stunning style to double his lead at the UBS Hong Kong Open, but the Englishman still has plenty of work to do to secure a tenth European Tour title.


After embarking on a birdie blitz round the Fanling course on Friday in a career-best 60, Poulter found chances a little harder to come by as he recorded a six under par 64 to sit 19 under.


The Ryder Cup star, who has yet to make a bogey over the Hong Kong Golf Club, picked up shots on the second and 13th, as well as an eagle three on the par five third.


But it was his birdie-birdie finish, with putts of 12 feet on the penultimate hole and 18 feet at the last that put the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play winner two clear of Graeme McDowell.


Poulter’s compatriot Simon Dyson produced a tidy round of 65 to sit third on 16 under, one ahead of Rory McIlroy and Anthony Kang.


The tournament is shaping up for a thrilling finale with McDowell – bidding for a good finish to eat into Martin Kaymer’s Race to Dubai lead -making his move.


The US Open Championship winner climbed the leaderboard with a strong run coming home as the Northern Irishman shot an impressive 63 to go second on 17 under.


He had an eagle on the 367 yard par four tenth before collecting three successive birdies from the 13th.


Poulter is certainly relishing the opportunity to go head-to-head with his Ryder Cup team-mate.


He said: “It’s going to be good fun.  Graeme and I had lunch earlier in the week, actually, Tuesday it was, and we was having a little bit of banter in the pub, and I told Graeme I was going to win this week.


“And then Rory walked in and they had a bit of banter between those two, because Graeme had just gone a place in front of Rory in the World Rankings, so there’s been some banter between those two and obviously me telling Graeme.


“So it’s going to be a great day tomorrow, I’m looking forward to it.  We had some fun certainly over the last few weeks.  You know, Graeme’s in good form, I’m in good form, Rory is playing well, Simon Dyson is up there, so this golf course is going to give up a low score tomorrow.  So it should be good fun.”


McDowell is doing his best to focus purely on the UBS Hong Kong Open before he makes his final push to overtake Kaymer in The Race to Dubai.


“Tomorrow is a hugely important day for me, but I’m really looking at the next eight days as hugely important for me,” said McDowell.

“I’m not under any extra pressure because next week is such a big purse that you know, if Martin Kaymer goes and wins next week, it’s all over, anyway.  I may as well go out and relax and play my golf tomorrow.  I’m really feeling under control of my emotions.


“I’m not thinking about The Race to Dubai when I’m out there.  I’m out there thinking about the UBS Hong Kong Open and I am enjoying it out there and enjoying my game. I’m having fun doing it, which is what I set out to do.”


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

PHOTO CAPTION 2(Getty Images ©): Graeme McDowell in action during the third round of the UBS Hong Kong Open




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