Casey, Poulter tied in Honda

Paul Casey and Ian Poulter, both of England, were tied for the lead at 7-under-par when the final round of the rain-delayed Honda Classic was halted by darkness on the Champion Course at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Poulter, who beat Casey, 4 and 2, in the final of the 2010 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship for one of his two PGA Tour victories, was in the lead and seemingly in control of the Honda after playing the middle rounds in 64-66.

Then he shanked his tee shot into the water en route to a double-bogey 5 on the fifth hole in the final round, and followed with a hook into the water that led to a bogey 5 on the sixth hole.

“It was just a lack of concentration,” said Poulter, whose other PGA Tour victory came in the 2012 WGC-HSBC Champions in China. “I tried to take a little too much off an 8-iron. It was a perfect shank and an easy double bogey, and then I made bogey on the next hole.

“But I’m pretty pleased with how well I played for most of the day and if I can do that tomorrow, I’ll be in good position.”

Poulter regained a share of the lead with a three-foot birdie putt after a brilliant tee shot on the par-3 seventh right before darkness came.

Casey, who once was No. 3 in the World Golf Rankings but has struggled because of injuries in recent years, shot 2-under-par 68 in the third round Sunday morning and then made four birdies in the nine holes he played in the final round.

He capped that run with a six-foot birdie putt at No. 9.

“It feels great,” said Casey, whose only PGA Tour victory came in the 2009 Shell Houston Open and who lost last week in a playoff at the Northern Trust Open. “My confidence level is like it was when I played so well in 2009 and 2010, probably higher.

“I think I’m playing as good if not better than I ever have.”

Patrick Reed had a share of the lead until he missed a 10-foot par putt at No. 7, his last hole of the day, and was one stroke back in solo third.

Rookie Daniel Berger chipped in from 64 feet for a birdie on his final shot of the day at No. 11 and was three shots back in a tie for fourth with Phil Mickelson, who played the middle rounds in 67-69, Brendan Steele of Idyllwild and UC Riverside, and Russell Knox of Scotland.

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