THE race for the gold jacket at the Australian Masters is between Ian Poulter and Adam Scott after they stamped their authority on the tournament with superb third rounds at Kingston Heath in Melbourne.
Poulter fired a brilliant 64 to be 13 under overall and headed into the final day with a slender one-stroke advantage over Scott.
Scott’s up-and-down round of 67 was not as flashy as Poulter’s but it was good enough to keep him within striking distance and some five shots clear of third-placed Matthew Guyatt.
Guyatt could only manage a 75 and was at seven under, while Kiwi Mark Brown was alone in fourth, a shot further back at six under. The rest are too far back, although Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell picked up seven birdies when out nice and early on Saturday to fire a five-under 67. That was enough to move him into a share of 13th place at one under.
Brown matched that score later in the day, but the two stars on show were Scott and Poulter.
Playing in the penultimate group of the day, Poulter and Scott matched each other for the majority of the round through two distinctly different looks and playing styles. Poulter was dressed boldly in red and often cautious off the tee, while Scott was more conservatively clothed in a grey sweater and outdrove the Englishman by over 50 metres on some holes.
The duo birdied the last in style to complete the day’s showdown.