Ian Poulter ready for ‘horrific’ weather in Scottish Open run-in

Ryder Cup star missing supporters as he chases first European Tour title in eight years

 Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter bump feet after they finish their rounds with both of them in contention at the Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club, North Berwick.  Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter bump feet after they finish their rounds with both of them in contention at the Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club, North Berwick. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

 

Ian Poulter is ready to battle the elements and a lack of adrenaline as he seeks a first European Tour title for eight years at the €6 million ASI Scottish Open.

Poulter added a second round of 66 to his opening 67 at the Renaissance Club for a halfway total of nine under par which was matched by playing partner and overnight leader Lee Westwood.

Westwood could only follow Thursday’s brilliant 62 with a 71 to fall two shots behind Australia’s Lucas Herbert, despite the players with late then early tee times benefiting from considerably easier conditions over the first two days.

“It’s nice to be in contention and good to come back, play and support the Tour,” the Florida-based Poulter said.

“It’s great that we have these events on right now, to be able to showcase the Tour a bit and I’m not thinking anything about Saturday bar bringing an umbrella and a pair of waterproofs.

“The weather forecast looks horrific, 20mph winds and a couple of inches of rain. You can be blown off the course easily, but we’re at the right end of the leaderboard to try and batten down the hatches, dig in deep and hold strong as much as you possibly can.”

Plans for 650 spectators to be allowed on site on each of the last two days had to be abandoned following a strengthening of coronavirus restrictions and Ryder Cup talisman Poulter is keenly aware of their absence.

“I love sport and it just doesn’t feel the same at the moment as we can’t get people together,” Poulter added. “The sooner we can do that the better it is for all sports. We can get the real buzz. We’re playing golf with no adrenaline and that’s difficult.”

Poulter, who has been sharing a house with former US Open champion Graeme McDowell this week, added: “We’re probably having more fun than the other guys, but it is strange.

“I’m on site, but there are a lot of guys in the Marine Hotel [in North Berwick] and the others are in Edinburgh.

“The bubble is spread out and that’s not easy. A few months ago we didn’t think it would be happening at all so all credit to those who have made it happen.”

McDowell will be checking out early after a three-over 74 saw him finish on one over, two shots outside the cut.

Pádraig Harrington got into the weekend right on the number after carding a one-under 70 to leave him on one under for the tournament.

Westwood made the ideal start to his second round with a birdie on the 10th, his opening hole, but bogeyed the next two and dropped another shot on the par-five 16th before battling back to shoot level par.

“I was actually pleased, really,” the 47-year-old said. “I felt like I didn’t have much go my way.

“I ran a lot of putts close and when I did hit it slightly off line, instead of finishing just in the semi [rough], it would finish in the thickest possible clump I could find.

“I’m pleased that I stuck with my game plan and 71 feels like an all right score. They toughened the course up. They put the flags on the side of hills. The pin positions were noticeably tougher, so I can only apologise to everybody for shooting 62 yesterday.”

Herbert, who contemplated quitting the game as he struggled during the middle of the 2019 season, carded seven birdies and one bogey in his 65 to lead on 11 under par, a shot ahead of England’s Robert Rock.

“I’m pretty happy,” said the 24-year-old Australian, who won his first European Tour title in Dubai in January. “To be honest I turned up here on Wednesday and hit it all over the place.

“Sort of not really expecting too much the last few days, but it’s kind of all come together nicely.

“My iron play has been great, which has taken the pressure off, and I haven’t had to get it up and down from ball washers to try and save pars.”

Playing the 620th and final regular European Tour event of his career, former British Open champion Paul Lawrie was hampered by back problems as he carded a 79 to finish 10 over par.

Leaderboard

British and Irish unless stated, par 71
131
Lucas Herbert (Aus) 66 65

132 Robert Rock 65 67

133 Ian Poulter 67 66, Lee Westwood 62 71

134 Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 68 66

135 Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 66 69, Kalle Samooja (Fin) 65 70, Joost Luiten (Ned) 63 72

136 Craig Lee 65 71, Fabrizio Zanotti (Pry) 69 67, Wade Ormsby (Aus) 66 70, Pablo Larrazabal (Esp) 72 64

137 Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 70 67, Tommy Fleetwood 69 68, David Horsey 70 67, Grant Forrest 71 66, Sami Valimaki (Fin) 68 69, Scott Jamieson 64 73

138 Alexander Bjork (Swe) 63 75, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 68 70, Jorge Campillo (Esp) 71 67, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 68 70, Haotong Li (Chn) 68 70, Victor Perez (Fra) 69 69, Eddie Pepperell 68 70, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 69 69, Rasmus Hojgaard (Den) 68 70

139 David Howell 72 67, Brandon Stone (Rsa) 69 70, Callum Shinkwin 69 70, Matthew Southgate 68 71, Aaron Rai 70 69, James Morrison 72 67, Maverick Antcliff (Aus) 69 70, Andy Sullivan 67 72, Marc Warren 70 69, Connor Syme 70 69, Garrick Higgo (Rsa) 72 67, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 70 69, Ewan Ferguson 69 70

140 Chris Wood 69 71, Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 68 72, Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 68 72, Ashun Wu (Chn) 70 70, George Coetzee (Rsa) 71 69, Julian Suri (USA) 70 70, Jeff Winther (Den) 71 69, Jordan Smith 70 70, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 71 69, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 70 70, Thomas Detry (Bel) 71 69, Min Woo Lee (Aus) 66 74

141 Adri Arnaus (Esp) 75 66, Matt Wallace 70 71, Francesco Laporta (Ita) 71 70, Victor Dubuisson (Fra) 73 68, Scott Hend (Aus) 71 70, Jeunghun Wang (Kor) 73 68, Robert Macintyre 74 67, Calum Hill 71 70, Gavin Green (Mal) 70 71, Sean Crocker (USA) 73 68, Adrian Otaegui (Esp) 71 70, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 74 67, Matthew Fitzpatrick 69 72, Pádraig Harrington 71 70

Missed cut

142 Steven Brown 72 70, Thomas Aiken (Rsa) 72 70, Justin Harding (Rsa) 73 69, Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 70 72, Dean Burmester (Rsa) 71 71, Sam Horsfield 76 66, Guido Migliozzi (Ita) 72 70, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 72 70

143 David Law 69 74, Joel Stalter (Fra) 72 71, Graeme McDowell 69 74, Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 73 70, Sebastian Heisele (Ger) 71 72, Shaun Norris (Rsa) 71 72, Ryan Fox (Nzl) 69 74, Richard McEvoy 70 73, Danny Willett 74 69, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 74 69, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 71 72

144 Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 72 72, Oliver Wilson 77 67, Paul O’Hara 75 69, Alvaro Quiros (Esp) 71 73, Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) 70 74, Joachim B. Hansen (Den) 73 71, Peter Hanson (Swe) 69 75, John Catlin (USA) 72 72

145 Richard Bland 74 71, Ashley Chesters 73 72, Julien Guerrier (Fra) 73 72, Chris Paisley 72 73, Renato Paratore (Ita) 74 71, Stephen Gallacher 75 70, Nacho Elvira (Esp) 72 73, Nino Bertasio (Ita) 75 70

146 Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 70 76, David Drysdale 76 70, Ross Fisher 73 73, Thorbjorn Olesen (Den) 76 70, Kristoffer Broberg (Swe) 73 73, Graeme Storm 74 72

147 Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 73 74, Michael Campbell (Nzl) 73 74, Neil Fenwick 80 67, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 69 78, Oliver Fisher 72 75

148 Justin Walters (Rsa) 75 73

150 Jason Scrivener (Aus) 75 75, Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 77 73

151 Richie Ramsay 80 71, Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 77 74

152 Laurie Canter 76 76, Paul Lawrie 73 79, Romain Langasque (Fra) 79 73, Alexander Levy (Fra) 80 72

153 Thomas Bjorn (Den) 77 76

154 Miguel Angel Jimenez (Esp) 78 76

157 Andrea Pavan (Ita) 81 76

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