Antalya, Turkey (SportsNetwork.com) – Ian Poulter moved three strokes clear of
the field on Friday before play was suspended for the day at the Turkish
Poulter was 5-under par through 14 holes and stood at 13-under par overall.
The Englishman is looking for his first win since the 2012 WGC-HSBC Champions.
Brendon de Jonge was 3-under after 13 holes and alone in second place overall
at minus-10 at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal.
Brooks Koepka had the low round of the day going as he was 6-under par through
15 holes. Koepka shared third place with Wade Ormsby at 9-under par. Ormsby
was 2-under par through 16 holes.
First-round leader Miguel Angel Jimenez was 1-over par after 14 holes and had
dipped to 8-under par. He was tied for fifth place with Branden Grace, who was
3-under par through 12 holes.
Players were off the course for 2 1/2 hours and a restart time had been
announced, but the storms returned and officials called play for the day. The
round will resume Saturday at 8 a.m. local time, which is 1 a.m. ET.
This is the penultimate event in the Race to Dubai. The top 60 in that race
qualify for next week’s season finale. Rory McIlroy leads that race, but Jamie
Donaldson, Sergio Garcia and Marcel Siem could pass him with wins at this
event and at next week’s season-ending, DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.
Of the three, Siem is closest to the lead at 2-under par, while Donaldson and
Garcia stand at 1-over par.
Poulter opened with four pars in the first five holes and birdied the par-5
fourth for the second day in row. After rolling in a 14-footer for birdie at
the sixth, Poulter poured in a long birdie effort on the seventh to move to
The Englishman birdied the 10th from six feet out. Poulter came up short of
the par-5 11th with his second, but chipped inside a foot and kicked in the
short birdie chance.
Poulter stumbled to his second bogey in two days at the difficult par-4 12th.
However, he bounced right back with a 2-putt birdie on the par-5 13th. After
he parred the 14th, play was halted for the day.
“I’m playing nicely, and to be on the top of the leaderboard is always nice.
It would have been nice to finish the round off, but I guess it wasn’t meant
to be today,” Poulter said. “I’m playing great, so it’s obviously a great
feeling to be on the golf course when you’re playing like that, and making
birdies is always fun. Right now I’m pretty happy.”
De Jonge played the back nine first on Friday and got going with birdies at
the 11th and 13th. He stumbled to a bogey at No. 15, but atoned for that
mistake with a birdie on the 16th.
The Zimbabwean birdied the 18th for the second day in a row to move to
minus-10. Around the turn, de Jonge parred the first four holes before play
was called for the day.
NOTES: Poulter owns 12 European Tour wins, five of which came between 2009-12
… Players will remain in the same groups for the third round … Course
designer Colin Montgomerie, who is playing in his 600th European Tour event,
was even-par through 16 holes to remain at plus-4 overall.