Ian Poulter had no playing status on the PGA Tour earlier this season, but then he won the Houston Open two weeks ago to qualify for the Masters and hasn’t slowed down.
The 42-year-old Englishman carded a bogey-free 4-under-par 67 to take a one-stroke lead over Si Woo Kim of South Korea and Luke List heading to the final round of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, S.C.
“It was frustrating because I knew I was playing well for a while,” said Poulter, who has won 17 times as a pro and is known as one of the best putters in the game. “I have driving the ball well and felt comfortable with my irons, but I couldn’t make any putts. So I switched putters, pulled one out of my bag, made a 20-footer and a 30-footer, and just went from there.
“The key thing is having a clean card around here. Saving par on the two par-3s on the back nine were the keys to my round today. I hit a couple loose shots, but with the putter working, I got away with them.
“I’ve played six weeks in a row, which is a lot for me, but I’m still standing and I think I can muster it up for one more day.”
Poulter, who has played 45 holes since his last bogey on the ninth hole in round one, recorded a 54-hole score of 13-under 200.
List, whose only victory as a pro came in the South Georgia Classic on what is now the Web.com Tour, had three straight birdies through No. 16 in another 67, while Kim, who captured the 2017 Players Championship at the age of 21, collected four birdies on the front nine in a 68.
C.T. Pan of Taiwan and Billy Horschel both had 67s and are two shots back in a tie for fourth, while Kevin Kisner totaled 66 and is one more behind in a tie for sixth with Chesson Hadley, who had a 69.
First-round leader Rory Sabbatini of South Africa shot a second straight 70 and is four back in solo eighth, while Ryan Moore shot 67 and is five behind in a tie for ninth with 2014 Heritage winner Matt Kuchar, who had a 69, and Danny Lee of New Zealand, who came in at 70.
Top-ranked Dustin Johnson finished at 72 and is tied for 42nd, while defending champion Wesley Bryan is tied for 53 rd after a 71.
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