Date: November 17, 2007

Poulter looking good in Japan

Ian Poulter birdied the final hole to open a two-stroke lead over fellow Englishman Luke Donald after the third round at the Dunlop Phoenix tournament today. Poulter coped nicely with demanding conditions to shoot a three-under-par 67 in a testing breeze at Phoenix Country Club. He posted a 10-under 200 total, while Donald also shot 67 to be alone in second place on 203. Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Japan&aposs Daisuke Marayama were tied for third, four shots from the lead, while Irishman Padraig Harrington shot 73 to plunge six strokes off the pace. Harrington, the defending champion, started the day tied for the lead with Poulter, but littered his card with five bogeys. Leading the Australian contingent are Craig Parry and Brendan Jones, who are both at three-under par in a tie for 11th. Paul Sheehan and Chris Campbell are the only other Aussies still playing, but they are well off the pace in 41st and 45th place respectively. Steven Conran and Wayne Perske both missed the cut after disappointing second round scores. Poulter and Donald are likely to be Ryder Cup team-mates next year, but that will be the last thing on their minds as they both are seeking their first win of the year. “The wind made it a bit more difficult for everybody today but I played very, very solidly and it was nice to shoot a decent score,” Poulter said after posting a 10-under total of 200 for the competition. “I&aposm leading, playing well, and if I go out and play well we&aposll have a good result.” “Luke&aposs a good golfer. I&aposm sure he&aposs going to try to make plenty of birdies and it&aposs for me to play well and hold the pack off.”