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Page last updated at 11:40 GMT, Friday, 19 November 2010

Ian Poulter shoots 60 to seize Hong Kong lead

Second round leaderboard: -13 I Poulter (Eng) -12 A Kang (US) -11 S Dyson (Eng), R McIlroy (NI) -10 G McDowell (NI), M Manassero (It), JM Singh (Ind), T Jaidee (Thai), A Hansen (Den)
Selected others: -4 D Clarke (NI) -3 C Montgomerie (Sco) P McGinley (Ire) +1 MA Jimenez (Spa),

Ian Poulter
Poulter was at his brilliant best to take the halfway lead

Englishman Ian Poulter fired a career-best 10-under-par 60 to snatch the halfway lead in the Hong Kong Open.

The 34-year-old struck five successive birdies from the seventh and 10 in all to move to 13 under par, one shot clear of American Anthony Kang, who hit a 61.

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy looked on course for a share of the lead but carded a double bogey at the last.

Graeme McDowell, joint fifth on 10 under, is well placed to close the gap on Race to Dubai leader Martin Kaymer.

Northern Ireland's McDowell, who was trailing Kaymer by £313,000 going into the European Tour's penultimate tournament, shot a second successive round of 65.

Germany's Kaymer is skipping the event, which offers a £265,000 top prize, to prepare for next week's season-ending Dubai World Championship.

McDowell said: "The great thing about this golf course is the front nine and is a bit tricky and the back nine offers you chances.

"You have to make yourself stay patient. It's only Friday, and I had to keep myself under control out there.

"But I was happy to hang tough and make a few birdies coming in. I'm in a great position going into the weekend."

Poulter had made an indifferent start to the tournament on Thursday with a modest 67 on a course tailor-made for low scoring.

But the Ryder Cup star turned on the style on Friday, reeling off eight birdies in his last 12 holes.

Poulter's lead could have been even greater had he holed a birdie putt from 15 feet on the 17th, but the ball stopped pulled up just short of the cup.

"It is one of those courses where if you can get off to a good start you really feel you can shoot a good number," he said.

"I had five birdies from the seventh and as soon as that happened I felt there were plenty of chances coming in.

"I am happy but slightly disappointed."

McIlroy, second overnight after an opening day 63, holed a seven iron from 175 yards to eagle the ninth and moved to 13 under with four birdies on the back nine.

But disaster struck on the last hole as he sent his tee shot into a bunker and his second into a lake.


He eventually holed a 10-foot putt to limit the damage but a double-bogey six saw him slip back into a share of third with England's Simon Dyson on 11 under.

"The finish was a little disappointing but I played some really good golf on the back nine," McIlroy told BBC Sport.

"But I'm still right in there, I just need to go out tomorrow and get off to a good start, get those couple of shots back and I'll be right in there again."

Yorkshireman Dyson was one over par for his first nine holes but shot six birdies from the turn to card a 65.

English trio Chris Wood, Oliver Wilson and Simon Khan all missed the cut, as did Spain's Ryder Cup hero Miguel Angel Jimenez.

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see also
McIlroy impresses as Brown leads
18 Nov 10 |  Golf
McDowell out to cut Kaymer's lead
17 Nov 10 |  Golf
McIlroy aiming for Hong Kong win
16 Nov 10 |  Golf
McDowell joint third in Singapore
15 Nov 10 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf

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