Ian Poulter is ready to hand Jose Maria Olazabal a Ryder Cup lift and hopes of the Woburn golfer winning a first Major.
Poulter was standing tall along the Kiawah Island shoreline and just a handful of shots from the lead while the brutal windy conditions were cutting others down to size.
The 36-year old Poulter did bogey the last but he is lying at three under par and just a stroke behind the leading trio of Tiger Woods (71), Vijay Singh (69) and Carl Pettersson (74).
Poulter arrived in South Carolina lying 12th and two places outside the European Team points table but is now headed for his hopeful best PGA finish in 11 starts.
And victory in the year’s final Major would send Poulter straight into Olazabal’s side and negate any ‘wildcard’ pick.
However while Poulter seeks to be on the plane heading next month to Medinah, the Englishman’s mind is clearly on lifting the Rodman Wanamaker Trophy late Sunday afternoon.
“It’s enjoyable when you’re at the top end of the leaderboard, as opposed to being down the bottom end or even fighting to make the cut,” he said.
“I mean, when you’re in contention, then it’s fun in a sick way, I guess.
“Well, it’s sick. I mean, the golf shots this golf course asks you to hit time and time and time and time again, you really have to hit phenomenal golf shots. The room for error is so tiny, and when you get it wrong, you can be 15 feet below the level of the green in a bad lie in a wasteland bunker with not much shot.
“So it’s very penal, slightly off‑target.”