Ian Poulter is betting on chasing down Henrik Stenson, while Tiger Woods rues missing out on 'something really special' at the Turkish Airlines Open


Montgomerie Maxx Royal, Antalya

In between cries of “get real” and “get in there” the essence of Ian Poulter is revealed. The cleanest striker of a golf ball Poulter is not, but on the greens he punches like Mike Tyson in his prime and on his day he is never out of the running. Today was just such a day.

A second successive 66 gave Poulter a share of the halfway lead on 12 under par at the Turkish Airlines Open in a group that also includes the irrepressible Henrik Stenson. A visiting dignitary from the United States, one Tiger Woods, is a stroke further back after shooting a course-record 63. Woods missed four birdie putts from inside 10 feet, substantiating his claim that he might have posted “something really special”.

Something special is the 59 he might have hit and which has never been recorded this side of the Atlantic. “If you look at the round, I missed four putts that I really should have made. Other than that it was a really good day,” Woods said. The understatement comes as standard.

Woods should have had Poulter’s aim. The par-three 16th was Poulter all over: farthest from the pin off the tee and first in the hole from 40 feet. Get in there, indeed. Playing partner Lee Westwood was gun-barrel straight all day and finished four shots adrift of Poulter. We have heard that story before. “Get real,” Poulter howled as his tee shot at 16 drifted left on the breeze. The putt never looked like missing. “I got it going on line and it dropped right in the middle of the hole,” he said.

Stenson is playing virtually one-handed with his injured right wrist severely curtailing practice. Yet on he soldiers through the discomfort towards a Race to Dubai finale he is favoured to win. Poulter is more than €500,000 adrift, but with three times that sum accruing to the winner here and next week at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, the Englishman, who has halved the deficit to Stenson in the past two weeks, is not only refusing to concede defeat, he is backing himself to reel in his man.

“I told him I’m going to chase him down because he was so far in front,” Poulter said. “I like to make these silly things and he said he’d like to take the bet on. I said I need some odds. He gave me 10-1 so I had a little 100 bucks. I also said that if I do manage to pass you we will have a nice night out and he will have to pour my drinks for the evening. I think 1,000 bucks isn’t an issue to him but pouring my drinks all night might be a big problem.”

Poulter is not wrong. “If he catches me I can only pour them with my left, so he’s going to have to hold the glass himself,” Stenson said. “I can’t go full-out with my practice. Even if I wanted to hit balls after the round it’s not going to happen.”

Only 10 players in the 78-man field go into the weekend over par. The climate reverted to the eastern Mediterranean November norm with temperatures reaching the mid-20s. A course softened by the first-day rain rolled over accordingly.

Returning at 8am to finish a first round that had eight holes to complete, US Open champion Justin Rose began with a bogey to drift to level par, eight off the clubhouse lead. It was his only dropped shot in 26 holes. Rose recovered to post a second-round 66 and join Westwood on eight under.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power