Here’s a short but sobering sentence for anyone with designs on winning the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic Sunday.

“My putting. My putting’s really good.”

Ian Poulter mightn’t have his “A-game” on tap for his first Desert Classic appearance in nine years, but he’s clearly brought along his putting touch. And if the 41-year-old Englishman can get the flat stick going, as evidenced by countless Ryder Cup birdie blitzes, watch out.

Poulter starts Sunday at Emirates Golf Club five back of Spanish pacesetter Sergio Garcia and in a bullish mood. Just quietly.

“I’m quietly confident. I wouldn’t say I feel like I’m on my A-game, but I’m doing my job, and that’s all I can do right now is slowly but surely try to get in contention and see what happens tomorrow,” said Poulter who has reeled off rounds of 67-71-67 to be -11 and tied third with Thai Prom Meesawat.

“I made a couple of great par saves during the round of golf, and gave myself a lot of good chances. I needed to shoot a decent round today, because obviously Sergio and the guys in front were a few shots clear. I’ve done my job today, so I’m very pleased.”

Poulter will be hoping to keep the momentum going in the shootout with Garcia (-16) and second-placed Henrik Stenson (-13).

“I had a stretch of single putts from the back end of round two to the first couple of holes today. I was nine one-putts in a row, so to do that, you have to be comfortable with your line doing that.

“I’m feeling good on the greens, and it’s been a while. So it’s nice to have an old faithful putter back in the bag and roll a few putts in and started to move up the board.”