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Poulter in three-way tie for Scottish Open lead

Poulter in three-way tie for Scottish Open lead

Englishman Ian Poulter at the Scottish Open on Saturday.

"I'm excited, it's good to be in that position".

The 37-year-old has dropped out of the world's top 100 for the first time since January 2008 after missing his last three halfway cuts, with a tie for 13th in Dubai in January his best finish in 2017.

"I was absolutely seething standing on that 18th tee, but fortunately we had a bit of a wait because Ross Fisher lost a ball and that allowed me to get my head back on", said Sullivan, who holed out from a greenside bunker for his eagle.

He battled to an impressive one-under-par 71 in brutal conditions at Dundonald Links to join third round playing partner Callum Shinkwin and Aussie Andrew Dodt at the summit of the leaderboard. "Obviously a few months back, things were pretty hard, but life's a little bit easier right now and obviously I'm enjoying my golf".

"I'd have signed for that score if you'd offered me it before I went out", said Poulter. "You have to start with the right frame of mind, knowing it's going to be a tough day and knowing that everyone else is going to have just as tough a day as you are, so you have to grind out pars and, if you can also take a few opportunities, then it will add up to a pretty good day".

"It was a job just to hold onto the umbrella let alone trying to hit a 6 iron from 125 yards, and even that did not get near the pin".

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"I don't think I've played in wind and rain like that before".

The links course was challenging as bad weather hit the action, but the overall standard remained good from the strong field.

Dodt and Shinkwin have dual aspirations for Sunday as they seek to secure an Open berth as well as Scottish Open glory.

Dodt, 31, and his wife Ashleigh have a five-day holiday booked in NY, starting on Monday, but he said: "My wife only flew in from Sydney this morning but I'll be quite happy to cancel the holiday for a spot in the Open, my first major". "I'll be quite happy to cancel to play in my first major", said Dodt. At seven under, Sullivan has a real chance of victory.

"We knew the conditions were going to be really tough today - that's why they brought the tee-times forward as much as they did. I told him before I went out to play I'd hand him a trophy and I did". "I just missed a couple of short ones that made the round go the other way".

"So it's really nice to obviously finish and see myself up there and hopefully I can stay there".

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