Poulter rag­ing as McIl­roy puts him­self in con­tention at Bri­tish Mas­ters

The Sunday Post (Inverness) - - Sport -

A fu­ri­ous Ian Poulter re­mained in con­tention for a first vic­tory in five years de­spite a costly in­ci­dent on day three of the £3m Bri­tish Mas­ters.

Poulter re­cov­ered from an early dou­ble bo­gey at Close House to card a 68 and fin­ish in a five-way tie for sec­ond on 11-un­der-par, a shot behind Swe­den’s Robert Karls­son.

The former Ry­der Cup star found the water with his tee shot on the par-three fifth after be­ing dis­tracted by spec­ta­tors tak­ing pic­tures on their phones and was still seething hours later.

“What are we do­ing?” an irate Poulter said. “We’ve al­lowed them all to take pic­tures and videos and tell them to put them on silent, and it doesn’t work does it?”

Asked if mo­bile phones should be banned – as they are at Au­gusta Na­tional for the Mas­ters – Poulter added: “No, I just think peo­ple need to ed­u­cate them­selves and un­der­stand it’s an is­sue for us and them.”

Karls­son’s last Euro­pean Tour ti­tle came back in 2010, but the Ry­der Cup vice-cap­tain’s 67 was enough to leave him a shot ahead of Poulter, Tyrrell Hat­ton, Graeme Storm, Paul Dunne and Richie Ram­say.

Hat­ton held a three-shot lead at half­way but could only card a 71 after two bo­geys in the last four holes, while tour­na­ment host Lee West­wood dropped three shots in the last six holes – his first bo­geys all week – to fall three off the pace.

However, there was bet­ter news for late en­try Rory McIl­roy, who ad­mit­ted his com­pet­i­tive juices were flow­ing again after a su­perb 64 took him to within two shots of the lead along­side Shane Lowry, Chris Han­son, Ge­orge Coet­zee and David Ling­merth.

“You get your­self into con­tention and you start to think about things and it would be nice to get a win,” said McIl­roy, who had pre­vi­ously in­sisted he was un­con­cerned about pos­si­bly just the sec­ond win­less season of his ca­reer, a season which will come to a self-im­posed early end next week.

With the course set up for low scor­ing, Ram­say was one of those to take ad­van­tage of the short­ened ninth hole, driv­ing the green on the par four and hol­ing from 15 feet for ea­gle.

“I feel that get­ting in the mix to­mor­row, back nine on Sun­day, I just love it,” Ram­say said after a bo­geyfree 65.

Rus­sell Knox has had a dif­fi­cult year on the other side of the At­lantic

Ian Poulter

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