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Poulter in front at JBWere Masters

  |   Dec. 15, 2011 at 8:24 AM
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MELBOURNE, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Ian Poulter had seven birdies Thursday en route to a 6-under-par 65 in taking the first-round lead at the JBWere Masters in Australia.

Poulter, whose only flaw on the day was an 11th-hole bogey, is one stroke ahead of Ashley Hall. Hall's 66 came despite a bogey and double bogey on the day.

Six golfers are tied for third at 4-under 67.

Poulter, playing the second nine of the Victoria Golf Course first Thursday, had a three-putt bogey on his second hole of the day. But he quickly returned to even with a birdie at No. 12.

He piled up five birdies in a six-hole span, starting with back-to-back birdies at 15 and 16 and three in a row over Nos. 18, 1 and 2. A closing birdie at the ninth hole gave him the lead.

Hall also opened on the second nine Thursday and was 8-under after 10 holes. That span included three straight birdies on Nos. 13-15 and a birdie-eagle-birdie string on 17, 18 and 1. However, he had a bogey at the fifth hole and a double bogey 6 at the eighth in dropping behind Poulter.

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