LONDON • Ian Poulter has called for fans to be educated over their use of mobile phones after a controversial incident in his third round at the British Masters on Saturday.
The English golfer put himself into contention for a first victory in nearly five years after a round of two-under 68 for a share of second place at 199. He is only one shot behind leader Robert Karlsson (67) of Sweden in Newcastle.
However, the 41-year-old could easily have ended the round in the lead had it not been for an incident at the par-three fifth hole, where he took a double bogey five.
During the two previous rounds Poulter and his caddie could be heard advising fans to put their mobile phones on "silent mode".
But two or three spectators were taking photos with their phones on Poulter's backswing, resulting in the world No. 55's tee shot finding water guarding the green.
"What are we doing?" he said. "We've allowed them all to take pictures and videos and tell them to put them on silent, and it doesn't work does it? You get distracted on the wrong hole at the wrong time and it's really annoying."
Poulter, seeking a first win since 2012, does not want mobile phones banned but he does want the European Tour to act.
"They don't realise they distract us as much as they do," he said. "Ninety-nine per cent of them are on silent and unfortunately there are a couple which are not. You're not expecting it because you think they've got it on silent.
"I'm angry and am going to continue to be angry until I wake up tomorrow morning."