Poulter increases lead in Melbourne

Ian Poulter shot a three-under-par 68 shot lead at nine-under par midway through the JBWere Masters.

Poulter carried a one-stroke advantage into the second round after firing a six-under 65 on Thursday, but he is now two in front of Matthew Giles, who matched Poulter's 68 on Friday to complete 36 holes at seven-under par. Ashley Hall started the day one behind Poulter, but managed only a one-under 70 and is now three back in third place at minus-six.

Brent McCullough and 2006 U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy tied for the low round of the day at five-under 66 and are among six players tied for fourth at five-under par. Nathan Greene, Brendan Jones, Kieran Pratt and Peter Lonard are also knotted a minus-five.

Poulter followed a seven-birdie, one-bogey effort from Thursday with four birdies and one bogey on Friday. He has bogeyed the same hole, the par-four 11th, each day.

World No. 1 Luke Donald carded a one-under 70 on Friday and will head to the weekend six shots back at three-under par. Greg Chalmers, trying for the Australian Triple Crown after capturing the Australian Open and Australian PGA Championship, is also minus-three after a one-under 70 on Friday.