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Poulter stays in Hong Kong hunt

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 23-10-2015


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Ian Poulter believes he's in a good position heading in to the weekend after keeping himself in contention at the second round of the Hong Kong Open. 

Poulter, who only arrived in Hong Kong at 7pm on Wednesday after making a late dash to play in the regular season finale, maintained his position near the top of the leaderboard by following his opening round 67 with a four-under 66 in Fanling.

Having dropped out of the world's top 50 on Sunday, Poulter relied on Rich Beem to give up his tournament invite this week to ensure he would have played the required 13 events needed to maintain his European Tour membership.

After his frantic last-minute journey from Orlando to Hong Kong via New York left no time for pre-tournament practice, Poulter continued where he'd left off on Thursday by birdieing four of his opening seven holes.

Poulter bounced back from a dropped stroke at the first with back-to-back gains from the third, although was disappointed to card a bogey at the par-four ninth for a second day running. 

"I played lovely on the front nine, but it was just a shame to give two back around that front side," Poulter said. "There's a lot of good golf in there. I'm very happy and obviously it's nice to be in this position.

"I got a decent amount of sleep last night, which is always handy. I fell asleep at 7.45 and I wasn't looking forward to what time I was going to wake up, but I managed to get through to 4am.

 "I don't play to take part, I obviously play to win. Even coming in as late as I did, focusing on shooting a good score was really key. And I know this golf course. I've shot 60 around here before.

"So albeit that I had not played a practice round, I've got good memories on this golf course. I know the place, I like it. And hopefully I can have a good weekend."

Poulter lies in the group two strokes adrift of pacesetter Justin Rose, who maintained his strong start to the week with a second-round 66.

The world No 6 is chasing a second title of the year after a strong showing at last week's Open, but admits he's wary of the challenge posed by his Ryder Cup team-mate. 

"Poulter is a past champion is and he's on the leaderboard," Rose said. "He's always good when he's got something to prove and he's probably a dangerous guy now that he's outside the top 50 in the world, and I know that he'll be desperate to get back in it.

"He always plays well when he has motivation, so he's obviously going to be tough to beat."

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