The young Englishman went around the Royal Golf Dar-es-Salams Red Course in 4-under-par 69 Saturday, and with a 54-hole score of 12-under 207, he finds himself in good shape for his second victory on the European Tour.
Poulter is four clear of Gary Evans (66), Thomas Levet (70) and Robert Karlsson (70). Six others, including first-round leader Paul McGinley are five back at 7-under.
I didnt do too much wrong, said Poulter following his round. Tomorrow I need to just go and play the same. Go out there and enjoy it. I really enjoyed it today.
Enjoyed it indeed. Not only is Poulter looking to gain his second win in as many years on the tour (he won the 2000 Italian Open and was the recipient of the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award), but he is looking for a bit of improvement here in Morocco.
It was at this very same course last year that Poulter, just 24 at the time, finished in joint second to eventual champion Jamie Spence.
So too, for that matter, did Frenchman Levet.
This year, however, it would appear that Poulter is the man with the game to win. Whether or not he has the nerves, however, remains to be seen.
Ian is playing very well, commented Levet. He has not missed many shots today. He is a solid leader and it is going to be tough to pass him.
But this is golf. It is a tough finish and will be tough on his nerves. If you can get within two shots, he might think, and you never know. Anything can happen.
Ive won from seven behind and know what it is to win. He has still to win it. There are lots of guys on seven and eight-under who can shoot 66 and catch him.
Poulter did not seem overly concerned, however.
If I play the way I played today things should be fine, he commented.
One other player who performed just fine on Saturday was Evans, whose score of 7-under 66 equaled the existing course record at Dar-es-Salam, and whose 30-foot birdie putt on the 17th separated him from the large pack at minus-seven.
I just tried to get my head down, stated Evans of his marvelous putting display. I feel Ive been playing well but not holing any putts. But the field was so bunched ' even if I had only gotten to four-under, I would still have been in the top-25. Im just trying to play half decent. Its all about holing putts. If you hole a few putts you get a bit of confidence.
Ive played five tournaments so far, made four cuts, but have no made more than 10,000 pounds which is disappointing to say the least.
Ill be looking for a good finish tomorrow.
Full-Field Scores from The Moroccan Open