Poulter raging as McIlroy puts himself in contention at British Masters
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