Saturday, 27 November 2010
Ian Poulter   (Getty Images)
Ian Poulter (Getty Images)

Ian Poulter takes a two shot lead into the final round of the Dubai World Championship presented by DP World after a third round 69.

The English Ryder Cup star is 12 under at Jumeirah Golf Estates, but has Francesco Molinari, Thongchai Jaidee and Ross Fisher hot on his heels.

Germany's US PGA Championship winner Martin Kaymer is in a tie for 11th after a one over par 73, but looks set to capture The Race to Dubai with Graeme McDowell back in a tie for 30th.

The Northern Irishman needs a top three finish to stand any chance of denying Kaymer, and is ten shot behind Poulter in two under after a 69.

Poulter, though, is going for two wins in a row for the first time in his career and history suggests he will be tough to stop. Eight times he has taken a lead into the final day and only once has he not triumphed.

Despite two "silly" bogeys - his first of the week - he recorded a three under par round to move to 12 under, two in front of joint-overnight leader Fisher, Italian Molinari and Thailand's Jaidee.

Poulter is simply oozing confidence again after his UBS Hong Kong Open success.

He won the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play in Arizona in February, but said: "I think this would be right there behind it, to be honest.

"The Volvo Masters (in 2004) was probably my next biggest, but this has become a bigger event and would mean more.

"My game is as good as it's been - as good as Tucson - and I am in the driving seat.

"The pins were tucked and it was a game of patience, but the two silly bogeys came on holes I feel I should have taken advantage of."

After moving three clear he three-putted from only 15 feet at the fifth and a poor drive cost him another shot at the 437 yard tenth.

At that point he fell back alongside Kaymer, Fisher and Jaidee, but Poulter then birdied the 14th and 15th and parred in from there.

Fisher closed the gap to one again on the 486 yard 16th, but Fisher went for the final green in two and, finding the same hazard as Kaymer, ran up a six.

WGC-HSBC Champions winner Molinari continued his excellent recent form with a 68 that included a hattrick of birdies from the 15th.

"It was a very good day," he said. "Not much was happening on the front nine for me but I stayed patient and some putts started dropping on the back nine.

"Obviously the bogey at 14 was a bit disappointing, but I managed to make it a great finish with three birdies on the last four holes and a par safe at the 18th.

"It's been another solid round and I'm hitting the ball well. I'm putting well and I'm chipping well."


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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KARLSSON, RobertSWE18-14
T3QUIROS, AlvaroESP18-13
5MCILROY, RoryNIR18-12
T6CASEY, PaulENG18-11

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