MACAU – Ian Poulter played like a golfer returning from a four-month break on Friday, losing his first-round lead and slipping into a share for 11th at the halfway mark of the Macau Open after carding a 2-over 73 in the second round.
Anirban Lahiri overcame an early triple-bogey on the par-5 12th to move into a five-way share of the lead at 8-under 134 with a 68 in the second round.
Scott Vincent's 64 was the lowest score on Friday at the par-71 Macau Golf and Country Club, and he joined 2014 champion Lahiri, Chikkarangappa (65), Sutijet Kooratanappisan (66) and Kalem Richardson (67) in the lead heading into the weekend.
"Obviously not the start I was looking for but I was confident if I could claw myself back, I could put a score together," said Lahiri, who recovered with five birdies and an eagle. "I'm still a bit disappointed I didn't birdie one of the last three holes. However, I'm happy to keep myself in it."
Carlos Pigem, who had a share of the first-round lead with Poulter, followed his opening 64 with an even-par 71 to slip into sixth.
After opening with a 64 on Thursday — his first competitive round since missing the cut at Colonial — Poulter had a double-bogey 7 at the 12th and three more bogeys in the second round, but made some ground back with three birdies as he slipped to a 73.
Poulter was coming off 14 weeks on the sidelines because of an arthritic joint in his right foot, although he remained involved as a non-playing vice captain for Europe in its Ryder Cup loss to the United States.
Darren Clarke, Europe's Ryder Cup captain, missed the halfway cut, following up his opening 74 with a marginally improved 73.