• St Jude Classic, Round Two

Poulter misses opportunity to close gap at Memphis

ESPN staff
June 7, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Ian Poulter went slightly off the boil on the final nine holes © Getty Images
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St Jude Classic leaderboard

Ian Poulter missed out on the opportunity to be within touching distance of leader Harris English at the FedEx St Jude Classic as the Englishman is seven shots off adrift heading into Saturday's third round at Memphis.

The 37-year-old was set to be at least four shots behind after an impressive 31 after the first nine, but three dropped shots meant he carded a round of 68 to end the day on a disappointing note with two-under.

Poulter was in good shape on his putting, as he stroked in a 12-foot birdie on the eighth par-3, before making consecutive birdies with two 13-footers on the ninth and tenth holes.

However, the former Open runner-up struggled on the back nine as two bogeys on the 12th and 15th, and a third on the final hole saw Poulter fall off the pace.

American Harris was one of six players tied for the lead on Thursday in round one, but he streaked clear from the chasing pack with a fine run of 64 to go on ten-under for the tournament, with fellow countryman Shawn Stefani two shots adrift at eight-under.

Playing in his second year on the PGA Tour, Harris - who recorded five birdies, an eagle and a bogey in an impressive round - said: "I'm still getting comfortable out here. [I'm] just trying to get in the hunt of a golf tournament every time.

"When I get in that kind of situation, everything is pretty much going my way and I'm very much in control of my ball. I'm really trying to birdie every hole."

Paul Haley III lies third on the leaderboard and is five shots behind English, while Americans Davis Love III, Glen Day, Justin Hicks, Doug LaBelle II and Nicholas Thompson are on four-under and tied for fourth spot.

Phil Mickelson fared better in round two than in the first as the multiple major winner hit a three-under 67, scoring four birdies and only one bogey, unlike his performance on Thursday when he dropped five shots.

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