Poulter takes 2-stroke lead in Hong Kong Open

Ian Poulter missed this putt at the 15th, but still shot a 64 on Saturday for a two-stroke lead.
Kin Cheung/AP

HONG KONG (AP) — Ian Poulter shot a 6-under 64 Saturday for a two-stroke lead through three rounds at the Hong Kong Open.

The Englishman followed up his second-round 60 by sinking birdies on the final two holes, pulling clear of U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell (63). Simon Dyson of England shot a 65 to trail by three strokes.

Poulter holed out from 20 feet for a birdie on 18 to a huge cheer from the crowd.

"With Graeme pressing and Simon pressing, you know, I wanted to make sure that I went into tomorrow with a little lead, so it was huge," Poulter said of his strong finish.

Poulter started with a birdie on the second and then eagled the 551-yard, par-5 third in his third straight round without a bogey.

McDowell shot the best round of the day. The Northern Irishman had an eagle on the 10th, driving the green on a hole that was shortened to 287 yards before making a long putt.

That began an impressive back nine that brought consecutive birdies at 13th, 14th and 15th.

Rory McIlroy (66)- runner-up in 2008 and 2009 - is four shots behind the leader along with American Anthony Kang (67).

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