Saturday, 31 October 2009
Barclays Singapore Open - Round Two  (Getty Images)
Barclays Singapore Open - Round Two (Getty Images)

Ian Poulter saw his five stroke halfway lead at the Barclays Singapore Open disappear after just six holes of his third round as Thomas Levet and Japan's Kodai Ichihara took full advantage before play was again suspended.

Poulter earlier completed a brilliant seven under par 64 second round on the third day of the weather-affected event at Sentosa Golf Club to move into a seemingly commanding lead.

But the flamboyant Englishman was made to pay for an aggressive approach as he shipped two bogeys and a double bogey, while Frenchman Levet, through eight, and Ichihara, in the group behind, progressed nicely on to two under for their rounds.

"It wasn't the best start. I three putted the first and then went for the green in two on the fourth from a bad lie and hit it in the water," said Poulter.

Ichihara added: “I'm going to try and play for a win as I'm in a good position. It's still a tough course for me as it's rather long and I'm using a lot of mid-irons and hybrid to get onto the green. But this way, I'm also playing it safe which is not a bad thing on this course.”

Poulter looked to already have one hand on the trophy after blitzing seven birdies over his flawless second round to lead by five from Sweden's Daniel Chopra and qualifier Chan Yih-shin of Chinese Taipei.

But after three putting the opening green to card an opening bogey, Poulter opted to use a fairway wood from the greenside bunker on the fourth and only managed to find the water.

Following a drop, he finally made the green in four before three putting from 60 feet to see his lead diminish.

And on the sixth green, Poulter faced a six foot putt to maintain his lead but was unable to convert shortly before an approaching thunderstorm forced the suspension which will add to the five hours already lost this week.

Levet said: "It is a pretty big cheque for first place and a big tournament to win. It would be great because it would take me to the top ten on The Race to Dubai, or close to it. But  I cannot think about that at the moment, I can only think about trying to play well here and to stay in the moment because this golf course is really tough and you need to be patient here.

“Just look at the leaderboard - there are so many guys close the top of the leaderboard, within a few shots, so this tournament is nowhere near finished.”

China's Liang Wen-chong and Australia's Andrew Dodt played their front nines in two under to claim a share of fourth at seven under, with Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei, Richard Finch and Sweden's Niclas Fasth tied for sixth a further shot off the pace.

Andres Hansen, Ross McGowan, Ernie Els and Graeme McDowell completed the top ten at five under.

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