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Watch: It's a race to the finish for Ian Poulter; almost closes with consecutive birdies

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A race against time. 

With Round 1 of The Players suspended for several hours due to rain, Ian Poulter stepped up to No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass with darkness looming. He placed his tee shot 3 feet from the hole and scurried to the famous island green to convert his birdie putt. 

After the 46-year-old carded his third birdie on the back nine, he didn't want to halt his momentum until tomorrow (or wake up early), so he bolted to No. 18's tee box before his playing partners attempted their putts. 

It was not the Englishman's first sprint to the finish. During the 2011 Players, Poulter hurried to the island green, but may have had a little more pep in his step then, having been 11 years younger.  

Full-field scores from The Players Championship

The closing hole that Poulter was so eager to get to on Thursday was almost as dramatic as his path there was. He took a drop after slicing his tee shot just before officials blew the horn at 6:36 p.m. to suspend play. However, Poulter finished the hole with a par and avoided having to set an early morning alarm clock Friday for just a few swings. 

Amid the darkness, he nearly holed a 50-foot chip for a birdie-birdie finish, but the ball fell 7 inches from the cup. 

Poulter sits T-99 at 1 over after an opening 73, but was able to finish 18 holes in one day, which may serve as consolation as he looks to regain ground Friday evening.