IAN POULTER and Adam Scott will face off in what could be a dramatic final day at the 2012 Talisker Australian Masters.
The high profile pair had a neck and neck third round battle at the Kingston Heath Golf Club with Poulter taking the late advantage.
The flamboyant Englishman played a superb 8-under 64 in near ideal conditions at the Kingston Heath Golf Club to lead Scott by a stroke after the Australian leaked two late shots.
Poulter began the day at 5-under, two behind Scott and five behind second round leader Matthew Guyatt.
After both birdied the par-5 first, the marquee second last pairing of the day put on a stunning display for a large, appreciative gallery.
With precision approach shots and a scintillating putting performance, Poulter had five birdies on the front nine to snatch the lead after Guyatt faltered.
Poulter and Scott continued to trade blows around what is a superbly presented course until both bogeyed the par four 16th.
Unfortunately for Scott, the Aussie also bogeyed the next before both got back on track to birdie the last.
Scott had a round of 67 including eight birdies and three bogeys.
“We’re all going up against probably one of the toughest competitors in the game – who’s leading,” Scott said, commenting Poulter was playing suberb golf and he was just trying to follow his lead.
“To be honest Ian got off to such a great start, he was hitting so many good shots, I was just trying to get into his rhythm. Sometimes when a guy is playing that good you can just kind of follow his lead and I was certainly trying to do that.”
Poulter, the defending champion, fell just one short of equalling the course record.
“When you go out on this golf course with a reasonable breeze and produce a score like that you have to be happy,” said Poulter, who believed playing alongside Scott helped his game.
“Collectively we had 17 birdies… It’s nice to play with someone you know really well. You feed off them, they feed off you, and I think that’s what we did today.”
Poulter finished on 13-under with Scott on 12-under and 36 hole leader Guyatt in third place on 7-under after a 3-over 75.
Poulter and Scott tee off together as the final group on Sunday at 1.10pm. With stiff afternoon winds forecast the stage is set for what could be a momentous final round showdown.2012 Australian Masters Leaderboard