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Page last updated at 19:42 GMT, Friday, 18 July 2008 20:42 UK

Poulter planning push for victory

Open Championship, Royal Birkdale, 17-20 July 2008
Live on BBC TV, BBCi, Radio 5 Live and BBC Sport website (UK only); Video highlights nightly on BBC Two and BBC Sport website

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Poulter had three bogeys and two birdies in his round of 71

England's Ian Poulter is confident of making a concerted push for victory at the Open after a second round of 71.

Poulter is the leading Briton on three over, four shots adrift of overall leader KJ Choi, who is at one under.

"I feel good and confidence is up and I'm hitting good golf shots so if I keep doing that we're going to run close," said 32-year-old Poulter.

"To be on the leaderboard in the Open Championship - it is a nice place to be come the weekend."

Poulter went out on the afternoon on Friday and played in relatively favourable weather conditions, with the wind and rain abating.

The way I've been playing I've got to be quite pleased with my position

Graeme McDowell

"It was just nice to get out on the golf course without it raining and blowing 30mph so I think we got lucky with the weather this afternoon," added Poulter.

"It cleared up a bit for us and we were able to go out and hit golf shots."

Liverpudlian Nick Dougherty shot 71, a substantial improvement on his opening-day 75, to finish the day on six over.

And the 26-year-old was quick to thank the crowd for its support.

"I made a bad bogey on the 16th and was despondent coming off, but I've had lots of support this week and they were there to pick my chin up," said Dougherty, whose mother died recently of a heart attack.

"They've been very, very faithful and I appreciate that. They've been the best bit."

Dougherty said before the tournament that he would not be playing at Royal Birkdale but for the fact that his mother wished him to do everything he could to make the Ryder Cup team.

"I would not have settled for six over before, but the last few weeks have been tough and the way I've been playing I've got to be quite pleased with my position," he added.

"I was definitely on the better side of the draw and I would like to have capitalised more, but my putter has been stone cold."

Justin Rose is also six over par after he shot a second-round 72.

Rose, who made his name at Royal Birkdale in 1998 when he finished fourth while still an amateur, had five bogeys and three birdies in his round.

606: DEBATE

"In terms of winning the tournament from here, there are some quality guys up there and not everyone is going to struggle," said Rose.

"All I know is that I have to go out there and play some quality golf. That is the challenge.

"I don't care what the weather is like tomorrow because it is the same for everyone. But for me at six back I need the wind."

Anthony Wall added to his opening round of 71 with a 73 to sit on four over par, while Lee Westwood finished nine over after shooting 74 on Friday.


see also
Open day two as it happened
18 Jul 08 |  Golf
Open day two photos
18 Jul 08 |  Golf
The Open leaderboard
17 Jul 08 |  Live scores
The Open clubhouse scores
17 Jul 08 |  Results


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