Published: Dec 15, 2011 5:23 AM EST
Updated: Dec 15, 2011 7:30 AM EST

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - England's Ian Poulter shot a 6-under 65 on Thursday to take the lead halfway through the first round of the Australian Masters.

Top-ranked Luke Donald opened with a 69 at Victoria Golf Club.

Poulter, playing the back nine first, had a bogey on the par-4 11th, then birdied five of the next six holes. He closed with a birdie at the par-5 ninth.

Greg Chalmers, even par through 10 holes, is trying to become the second player to complete the Australian Triple Crown after sweeping the Australian Open and Australian PGA last month. Robert Allenby accomplished the feat in 2005.