Poulter in front before rain halts play

Ian Poulter was three shots clear at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal before the second round of the Turkish Airlines Open was suspended due to bad weather.

In anticipation of a thunderstorm, players were asked to tee off 90 minutes earlier than originally planned, but the storm came earlier than expected and play was called off shortly after the first band of thunder clouds arrived.

Poulter had just completed the 14th hole when play was suspended.

Initially it was thought that there would only be a two-and-half hour break, but the weather closed in again shortly before the planned restart.

Poulter on 13-under-par, three shots clear of Zimbabwe’s Brendon de Jonge.
Weather permitting, play will resume at 8am local-time.

Starting the day one behind over night leader Miguel Angel Jimenez, Poulter carded birdies on the opening two holes while the 50-year-old European Tour veteran was disappointed after making bogey on the fourth.

Poulter took advantage with birdies on the fourth, sixth and seventh to move into the lead.

He increased his lead to three shots with a birdie from six feet on the tenth before chipping to within inches of the hole on the par five 11th to set up another.

Apart from a drop-shot on the 12th – only his second drop-shot of the week – the Englishman played well and remained calm as strong winds started taking an effect on play.

“I’m playing nicely, and to be on the top of the leaderboard is always nice,” said Poulter. “It would have been nice to finish the round off, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be today.

“So I guess we’ll have to wait this one out, see what the weather is going to be like. Hopefully we can get round two finished at some stage tomorrow and obviously get cracking on round three.

“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 had four birdies and a bogey to show for the 13 holes he completed while Australian Wade Ormsby and American Brooks Koepka were a further shot back.