Poulter shares Houston lead as he bids for Masters invite

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(Reuters) – Ian Poulter kept his hopes alive for a U.S. Masters invitation as the Englishman shot a seven-under-par 65 to share a two-stroke lead with American Beau Hossler after the third round of the Houston Open on Saturday.

Poulter, who needs to win the Houston tournament to qualify for next week’s Masters, sat alone atop the leaderboard for a long time at 14-under 202 before Hossler sank an eight-foot birdie putt at the last hole for a round of 69.

Australian Greg Chalmers (65), Argentine Emiliano Grillo (67), American Kevin Tway (69) and Ireland’s Paul Dunne (69) were deadlocked at 204 in the final tournament before the Masters.

Six other players were another stroke back at 205 including Sweden’s Henrik Stenson (69) with American Jordan Spieth (71) in a group on 10-under 206.

The day turned dark for Rickie Fowler, though, as the American went from being the early leader to five strokes off the pace after a round that included a bogey, a double bogey and a triple bogey to go with five birdies.

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina, editing by Ed Osmond

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