Apr 15th, 2017
Poulter in contention at RBC Heritage
Despite Tour-card pressure
Words: Keel Timmins Photography: Getty Images
Ian Poulter is in the hunt for his first professional victory in over four years after shooting a three–under par round of 68 at Harbour Town Golf Links, trailing leaders Graham DeLaet and Luke Donald.
The Englishman enters the weekend at eight–under par, with concerns over his status on the PGA Tour looming.
Poulter needs to earn $144,669, or 117 FedEx Cup points, in his next two PGA Tour events to fulfil the requirements of his major medical extension after facing arthritis in his right foot last season.
“I'm not thinking about it, that's how I'm handling it. I just want to go out and play golf,” Poulter said.
“If I try and win this golf tournament and hit good golf shots, and connect to every single shot I play, then I would think I'm going to be good enough.”
The Ryder Cup star only needs a top 12 finish to earn the required amount, and with the tartan–wearing Poults currently in a tie for 3rd, he’s in good shape to secure his PGA Tour future.
Fellow Englishman Donald has an incredible record around Harbour Town, and after a superb chip-in on the final hole, he will also be looking for a well overdue victory.
Donald has finished 2nd in this tournament four times in his last eight starts; a victory here would be well deserved on a golf course that he loves, and particularly well received by GolfPunk readers (he was tipped at 40/1 in our preview!).
Kevin Kisner, who was also tipped, bounced back from a poor opening 72 to fire a round–of–the–day 64, leaving him only four shots off the lead.
Tyrrell Hatton is also in with a chance in T15th position, while GolfPunk favourite Andrew ‘BEEF’ Johnston comfortably made the cut at three–under–par, but will have to come out firing on Saturday to get himself into contention.
Last year’s Masters Champion Danny Willett continues to struggle though as he missed the cut after shooting an ugly seven–over par 78.
Matthew Fitzpatrick, Rafa Cabrera–Bello and Bryson DeChambeau will also miss the weekend.