Friday, April 09, 2010

Poulter, Westwood Share Lead; Tiger Lurking

If you hadn't noticed the British invasion at the top of the world golf rankings, the top of the Masters leader board after two rounds should get your attention.

England's Lee Westwood, the fourth-ranked player in the world, and fellow countryman Ian Poulter, No. 7 in the world rankings, share the 36-hole lead at the Masters at 8-under par 136.

While they're good friends who will be comfortable together in Saturday's final pairing, they're far from being fitted for a green jacket.

That's due in part to the lurking presence of Tiger Woods, who is tied for third, two strokes out of the lead in his return to competitive golf. Woods, who has posted rounds of 68-70, is tied with Phil Mickelson, K.J. Choi, Ricky Barnes and Anthony Kim.

"We're not at the top of the world rankings by mistake," said Westwood, who has three top-three finishes in major championships over the past three years.

Westwood threatened to pull away from the field in Friday's sunny, breezy conditions, briefly reaching 10-under par with a three-stroke lead. But a double-bogey at the par-4 14th hole stalled his momentum.

Poulter's 4-under par 68 equalled the day's best round and was one of only three sub-70 scores on a tough second day. Known more for his striking fashion on the course than his performance for a few years, Poulter has emerged as a top-level player. He won his first PGA Tour event earlier this year, capturing the World Golf Championship-Accenture Match Play Championship.

"It's Friday so you don't get carried away but it's a nice feeling," Poulter said of his position.

Woods also likes being within two strokes of the lead with two days to play.

"Yeah, I do," Woods said.


Anonymous said...

Come on Boom Boom.