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Ian Poulter shoots first-round 67 after late dash to Hong Kong Open

Ian Poulter shoots a three-under 67 despite not playing a practice round or having his caddie after hastily travelling across the world to play in the UBS Hong Kong Open.

Englishman Ian Poulter carded a three-under-par first round in the UBS Hong Kong Open after rushing to compete in the tournament so that he will be eligible for next year's Ryder Cup.

The 39-year-old was given a sponsor's invite by Rich Beem to play in the tournament after he realised that he had dropped out of the world's top 50 and would not fulfil his 13-tournament requirement to be a European Tour member.

Had Poulter not played this week at the Hong Kong Golf Club, he would have lost his European Tour membership and therefore not been available even for a captain's pick in next year's Ryder Cup.

Despite not playing a practice round or having his caddie available, Poulter is in contention after a first-round 67 that included five birdies and two bogeys.

"Fairly happy with that result today," Poulter tweeted. "3 under par and left a few out there. Fair chance of a little snooze in the courtesy car to hotel."

Poulter is three shots behind the early lead of Andrea Pavan and Lu Wei-Chih.

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Ian Poulter of Europe celebrates with his caddie Terry Mundy after making birdie on day two of the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah on September 29, 2012
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