Poulter had four birdies and a bogey for a 3-under-par 68 in his second round and is at 9-under 133 after 36 holes. Matthew Giles, who also shot 68, is second at 7-under. Ashley Hall, despite three bogeys, shot 1-under 70 and is at 6-under 136 for the tournament.
Six players are tied for fourth at 5-under. That group includes Geoff Ogilvy, whose 66 was the round of the day. Ogilvy had two bogeys, five birdies and a ninth-hole eagle.
Poulter, from England, is the only non-Australian in the Top 10.
He opened play Friday with eight consecutive pars before a birdie at No. 9. His bogey came at the par-4, 405-yard 11th hole, where he also had a bogey Thursday.
Poulter had a birdie at 14 before finishing with birdies at the Victoria Golf Club's back-to-back par 5s at 17 and 18.