Ian Poulter is creeping towards the top of the leaderboard Sunday at the 2019 Masters. He notched a pair of 4-under par 68’s on days one and three to put himself on healthy ground, and two birdies on the front-9 Sunday has him just a few strokes behind Italy’s Francesco Molinari.
If the Stevenage, England native can pull through down the stretch, he will have a chance at his first-ever major championship. He’s come close before, earning a 2nd-place finish at the 2008 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale behind Ireland’s Padraig Harrington.
It was an exceptionally low-scoring affair, as Harrington won with just a 3-over par showing. Poulter utilized 3 birdies on the final 10 holes to finish 4 strokes behind that, finally coping with the gusting winds.
Here’s a look at Poulter’s other best finishes at major events:
Masters Tournament: Tied for 6th in 2015
U.S. Open: Tied for 12th in 2006
PGA Championship: Tied for 3rd in 2012
In order to take home the green jacket, Poulter needs to have a similar back-9 to the one he did at the 2008 Open Championship. He currently trails Molinari by 3 strokes through 9 holes, and will also be competing with a roaring and hungry Tiger Woods.
He has notched 8 birdies on the back-9 in the previous 3 rounds, including a 3 each on Thursday and Saturday. Even if he replicates those outings, he has to hope Molinari and Woods don’t climb any higher.
It’s a bit of a longshot for him to win, but the opportunity is there.