Poulter weathers brutal conditions to share Scottish Open lead

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IRVINE, Scotland - Ian Poulter moved in sight of his first title in 4 1/2 years by belying sideways rain and strong winds to shoot a 1-under 71 at the Scottish Open, giving him a three-way share of the third-round lead on Saturday.

In the toughest weather conditions of the week on Scotland's west coast, clubs slipped from players' hands, hardy fans' umbrellas were blown inside out, and puddles formed on fairways.

Poulter managed to control his swing, ball, and temperament in what he described as a ''brutally tough'' back nine, during which he was delighted to make only one bogey.

He was tied on 9 under par overall with playing partner and fellow Englishman Callum Shinkwin, who produced another brilliant round of 68, and Australian player Andrew Dodt (69).


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The last of Poulter's 14 worldwide victories was the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in November 2012.

Padraig Harrington started in a share of the lead but shot a 79 to drop to a tie for 23rd.

Rickie Fowler struggled to read his putts and shot 74, giving him four shots to make up as he looks to add to his 2015 title.

It proved to be a good links test for players ahead of The Open, which starts at Royal Birkdale on Thursday.