England’s Ian Poulter led Scot Paul Lawrie by one after four holes of their Volvo World Match Play clash in Spain today.
After coming from three down to halve with Ryder Cup team-mate Francesco Molinari in his opening group game Poulter kicked off with a bogey yet again.
But Lawrie, Open champion in 1999 and in the event courtesy of his Andalucian Open victory in March, conceded the next and he could not match Poulter’s birdie three on the driveable fourth.
The Aberdeen golfer had sat out yesterday like the other seven lowest-ranked players in the 24-strong field and he also had Molinari to face in the afternoon.
South African Retief Goosen hit back from his last-green loss to Rory McIlroy to lead Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts by one after two, but Spaniard Alvaro Quiros - conqueror of Paul Casey – was on course for a place in the last 16 when he led Dane Soren Kjeldsen by one after three.
Quiros actually started with a double bogey six, but a par on the short next was good enough and he birdied the long third.