Ian Poulter hasn't played the Heritage the past five years, but he has quickly found his way around again.
The 35-year-old Englishman fired a second-round 66 on Friday to vault into position for his best finish at the tournament. In three previous tries, he hasn't finished better than tied for 47th.
"If I can keep playing good golf and hit good shots, I can have a chance to win," said Poulter, who is three shots behind fellow countryman Luke Donald. "And that's why I'm here."
Poulter has not shied from reaquainting himself with Hilton Head Island. He has updated more than 1 million Twitter followers this week on his dinner plans, posted a photo of the produce aisle at a local grocery store and solicited advice on where to get his hair cut.
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And there's the golf.
Poulter made four birdies on the front side and said he was pleased with his start. But after opening the back nine with a birdie, Poulter made par his final eight holes.
A solid score, and no setbacks, but Poulter thought he could have gained more ground in relatively benign conditions at Harbour Town Golf Links.
"When you're playing well and the course is calm, you want to try to take advantage," said Poulter, who is chasing his second PGA Tour victory. "Right now, I'm three shots behind Luke, so I need to make birdies."
Poulter, popular for his snappy attire and honesty, signed autographs for several minutes behind No. 18 after his round. Fans wrangled for position and wished him well.
Poulter, who plays both the European and PGA tours, earned his first U.S. tour win at the 2010 Accenture Match Play Championship, after which he climbed to No. 5 in the world. He also owns 10 wins on the European tour.
He has earned much of his recognition for his clothing line and controversy, often involving the media and Twitter. He angered some golf purists last year after posting video of himself and his children eating Honey Nut Cheerios from the Ryder Cup. When Poulter told a reporter earlier this month he didn't think Tiger Woods would finish in the top five at the Masters, the quote lingered all week in interviews and online.
And this week, Poulter took to Twitter to rip a golf writer as annoying, clueless and intrusive.
Poulter has said he gets cast in a poor light for his honesty. He once said during a magazine interview that, if he reached his full potential, he and Woods would stand separate from their peers.
Poulter exuded that familiar confidence Friday. He made birdies on Nos. 2, 3, 5 and the tricky par-3 seventh to launch his round.
"I hit all the shots I wanted to hit; and I made a few on the front nine," Poulter said. "It's a shame I couldn't make a few more on the back nine. But playing the way I'm playing, it's nice to be in position for the weekend."
A sample of Ian Poulter's tweets from his week at the Heritage
"Great Proam this morning at Hilton head, the course is awesome I miss playing here. I hope they get a new sponsor for this great event."
After a 69 in Round 1: "Played nicely to day, only a couple of mistakes two 3 putts which were soft & tricky putt from off the green led to a bogey, load of chances"
"time for a quick nod before light gym & treatment, then hitting the sushi restaurant. Apron down im having a night off the cooking."
"Anyone know if there is a great hair salon in HHI to chop my locks."
"Night all ive had too much fun with you all tonight, if your out have a beer for me please, tune in tomorrow for more fun. be good"