Belek: Ian Poulter fired a 66 to open up a six shot lead after completion of the rain-delayed second round of the Turkish Airlines Open in Belek on Saturday morning.
Ryder Cup star Poulter had been four shots in front when thunderstorms forced play to be abandoned mid-afternoon Friday on the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course.
There was again heavy overnight rain with some 60 millimetres falling and that forced a further hour`s delay to the start of third round in the penultimate tournament of the European Tour season.
Poulter resumed his second round at 13-under par after 14 holes and then went to 14-under par with a birdie at the 15th and then ended with three straight pars for a 14-under par tally.
"We clearly had a lot of rain early this morning that made the par 5s play more difficult while the par 4s are tricky and the rough really wet," he said.
"So it`s going to be difficult with more rain we`re going to get this afternoon and I`m told there`s some electricity apparently coming in the storm.
"It looks like it`s going to be another long day and the key is going to be staying patient.
"I played exactly the same last week, didn`t hole my putts. I`m playing well enough, the same this week, but I`m taking my chances. So I need to continue to do that even in the tricky conditions."
A week ago Poulter produced his equal best finish of the season with a share of sixth in his defence of the WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai. He also sharing sixth in June at the PGA Tour`s FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis.
His effort last week also lifted him back up to 43rd on the World Rankings and saved him from dropping outside the top 50 for the first time since 2005.
The 38-year old Englishman is seeking to capture a 13th European Tour victory and a first in 53 weeks since capturing last year`s WGC title in Shanghai.
And while Poulter moved clear of dropping outside the top 50, Ireland`s Shane Lowry now looks set to finally to break into the top 50 for the first time in his career.
The Dublin-born golfer, currently ranked 51st in the world, matched Poulter`s 66 to move to a share of second place on eight under par.
Also ending round two on eight under par were American Brooks Koepka, Spain`s Miguel Angel Jimenez, Australia`s Wade Ormsby and the South African duo of Branden Grace and Hennie Otto.