FORT WORTH, US: Ian Poulter, taking aim at an “overrated” label tagged on him in an anonymous players poll, moved within a shot of leader Kevin Na on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at the PGA Crowne Plaza Invitational.
The Englishman fired a two-under par 68 in the third round to stand on 10-under after 54 holes, hot on the heels of US standout Na, who fired a 69.
Poulter missed a seven-foot birdie putt at the 18th hole that would have pulled him level with Na entering Sunday’s last round at Colonial.
Poulter, who has never won a stroke-play event on the United States, was voted along with Rickie Fowler the most “overrated” players on the PGA Tour in an anonymous poll of players conducted by Sports Illustrated last month.
Fowler answered with a victory two weeks ago at the Players Championship and Poulter, who has 1.89 million Twitter followers, could respond this week after already taking heat for playing in Texas rather than at Wentworth in a European Tour event in his homeland.
“Do you think I pay a lot of attention to what people think? 1.89 million people? I mean, seriously. Come on,” Poulter said. “It’s water off a duck’s back. It has actually become quite funny, to be honest, so I take it a little bit tongue-in-cheek.”
Critics saw Poulter as cheeky for skipping Wentworth but a new event this year, the British Masters in October, will count as his home event for 2015. But Poulter has played well at Colonial and not so well at Wentworth over the years.
“It’s a golf course which hasn’t been too kind to me over the years,” he said. “My performances haven’t been very good there.”
Start times Saturday were advanced to the morning to avoid the worst of afternoon storms, but rain still pelted players much of the round.