Poulter in charge in Turkey

European Tour

Ian Poulter took control of the Turkish Airlines Open on Saturday as he moved six shots clear at the weather-hit tournament.

The Englishman was three shots ahead of his rivals when play was halted at the soggy Montgomerie Maxx Royal on Friday afternoon due to a thunderstorm and more bad weather overnight pushed back the restart by an hour on Saturday morning.

However, the weather failed to dampen Poulter’s spirits and he completed his second round with a six-under-par 66 to go with his opening 64.

After starting the morning at five under, the 38-year-old birdied the 15th and then finished with three consecutive pars to move to 14 under for the tournament.

“I played exactly the same last week but didn’t hole my putts,” he said. “I’m taking my chances this week and I need to continue to do that even in the tricky conditions. There are still five par fives, people can still make birdies so I am going to need to do exactly the same.

“It’s really exciting (to be in this position) – 2014 was looking pretty glum, hopefully we can turn it into a good one.”

Poulter has a healthy lead over Ireland’s Shane Lowry, Miguel Angel Jimenez, American Brooks Koepka, Australian Wade Ormsby and South African pair Branden Grace and Hennie Otto.

Lowry also carded a six under while Spaniard Jimenez followed up his opening 63 with a one-over-par 73.

American Peter Uihlein produced the best second-round score as he carded a five-under-par 65 to move to seven under for the tournament.

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