Massive Poulter putt puts defending champion in the hunt

Singapore :It was a putt that seemed to go on forever, winding its way the best part of 100 feet across the 18th green before finally dropping in the hole, but it was well worth the wait for Ian Poulter.

The massive putt capped a sensational back nine at the Sentosa Golf Club`s Tanjong course for defending Singapore Open champion Poulter, who posted a `three` on each of the final six holes to come home in 29 on Friday.

The 34-year-old is in second place at the $6 million co-sanctioned event on 10-under-par, two shots behind leader Adam Scott of Australia.

Even the supremely-confident Poulter was surprised by the improbable putt for birdie on the last, which negotiated peaks and troughs before breaking right and disappearing into the cup.

"It was the very, very left edge of the back of the green and I reckon it was a good 100 feet, if not a touch more," he told reporters. "I certainly can never remember holing anything of that length in the past."

The Briton, known for his flamboyant golf garb, was one of 108 players who returned to the course at 0730 on Friday to finish his weather-hit first round.

Two separate par-71 courses are being used for the first time with the 204-man field playing a round on each and those making the halfway cut completing the final 36 holes on the Serapong course.

"Whenever you have to play 30 holes of golf in a day it is going to be difficult but when the weather is like this -- hot, sweaty and humid -- it is hard on you and the caddie," said Poulter, who was part of Europe`s victorious Ryder Cup team last month.

"Disappointed to only shoot two-under-par in the first round but obviously the scores are all here at Tanjong, so going out in 34 here was not what I wanted either.

"I knew I had to come back in a good number and I certainly managed that with 29. Six birdies on the back nine and six threes in a row to finish, which was very nice indeed."

Bureau Report