Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter today suffered a disappointing finish to his second round as the weather-delayed US Open resumed at Merion.
Poulter was just one shot off the lead and facing a birdie putt on the 15th green when play was suspended due to darkness shortly before 8:30pm on Friday evening, a knock-on effect of the four and a quarter hours' play lost to bad weather on Thursday.
He had to settle for a par when play resumed at 7:15am on Saturday morning and then bogeyed the 16th after finding a fairway bunker off the tee and failing to get up and down from just short of the green.
A superb long putt on the 17th, where his tee shot to the par three had span back off the front of the green, helped Poulter save par there, but he bogeyed the 18th to complete a second consecutive 71.
At two over par, the 37-year-old was three shots off the lead held by Phil Mickelson and Billy Horschel - the only two players under par - with Luke Donald, Justin Rose and Steve Stricker a shot behind.
Taiwanese amateur Cheng-Tsung Pan was one over par with four holes of his second round still to play. The 21-year-old was introduced to the game by his mother, who caddied at a course in Taiwan, but moved to the United States in 2007 to play collegiate golf at the University of Washington.
Poulter, who shares a best US Open finish of joint 12th with Donald at Winged Foot in 2006, said: "Albeit it was with two bogeys in the last three holes to finish round two, I'm right there. I'm right in position and let's look forward to what round three and four have.
"I'm three off the lead in the US Open and that's the difference of one hole. You can make birdie and someone can make double. I'm right in position and right there where I want to be. It's going to be a fun weekend."
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