‘Bionic’ Kaymer contending again
Martin Kaymer and Robert Allenby shared the lead after Friday’s second round of the Castello Masters.
German young gun Martin Kaymer has given himself the chance to regain the European Tour number one spot in his first event back since breaking toes in a go-kart crash.
Out since mid-August and not able to start practising fully until the last few days, the 24-year-old shares the clubhouse lead with seasoned Australian Robert Allenby after the second day of the Castello Masters in Spain.
“Maybe he’s the bionic man,” Allenby said of the German, who will have titanium plates and screws in his foot for another nine months.
Top of the money list when the accident happened, Kaymer is now down to third, but the first prize on Sunday would instantly take him back to the top above Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy.
He did admit, however, that he was feeling it after having to play 24 holes following Thursday’s three-hour stoppage for strong winds.
First the French and Scottish Open champion completed an opening eight-under-par 63 – “I was never expecting to be under 70 to be honest,” he stated – and shared top spot with defending champion Sergio Garcia.
Then he went out again and added a 67 for a 12-under-par total matched by Allenby with a 66.
Garcia, playing on his home course, was among those unable to finish as the tournament tried to make up for lost time and he will resume in the morning one shot off the pace on 11 under with three holes to play.
Double Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal and Indian Shiv Kapur are two behind.
Speaking about his injury after his round, Kaymer said: “It does not affect my swing, but I was in a lot of pain the last few holes.
“But my expectations were not high, so it worked out pretty well.
“I’ll put some ice on it now and take it easy. The doctor told me to avoid long walks and that I won’t be 100% for a year.”
Allenby, a four-time winner in Europe before moving to the United States over a decade ago, rejoined this season for the new “Race to Dubai” and is already 33rd on the money list from just 10 starts.
He birdied his last two holes to move alongside Kaymer.
Also going well is England’s John E Morgan in his first event since he broke a toe stubbing it on the end of his bed just over a month ago.
The 31-year-old, down in 195th place on the Order of Merit and needing a top-two finish to save his Tour card, is four behind at halfway.
On the same mark are former Ryder Cup player Andrew Coltart and England’s Benn Barham and Miles Tunnicliff, all three of them are also looking to move into the top 115.
Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie is five under with four holes remaining and Darren Clarke one further back, but Chris Wood, third in the Open in July, withdrew after an opening 70 with a twisted ankle suffered falling down the clubhouse steps and Welshman Stephen Dodd also retired at three over with four to play.
The cut looks like falling on Saturday morning at either one or two under.
LATEST COMPLETED SECOND ROUND SCORES
(Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 71):
Note: The second round has been suspended due to darkness. Play will resume on Saturday at 8:45am local time. 50 players are still to finish there first round.
130 Robert Allenby (Aus) 64 66, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 63 67
132 Shiv Kapur (Ind) 67 65
133 Sam Hutsby 65 68
134 Peter Hanson (Swe) 66 68, John E Morgan 66 68, Benn Barham 68 66, Andrew Coltart 70 64, Miles Tunnicliff 67 67, Paul Broadhurst 70 64
135 Anthony Wall 68 67, Christian Nilsson (Swe) 69 66, Ignacio Garrido (Spa) 67 68
136 Scott Drummond 70 66
137 Alessandro Tadini (Ita) 65 72, Marc Warren 72 65, Danny Willett 71 66, Gonzalo Fdez-Castano (Spa) 68 69, Oliver Fisher 68 69
138 Felipe Aguilar (Chi) 69 69, Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 68 70, Branden Grace (Rsa) 74 64, Wade Ormsby (Aus) 72 66
139 Richard Bland 70 69, Joakim Haeggman (Swe) 68 71, Justin Rose 68 71, Joost Luiten (Ned) 70 69, Robert Dinwiddie 69 70, Pelle Edberg (Swe) 69 70, Bradley Dredge 70 69
140 Gary Murphy 70 70, Taco Remkes (Ned) 69 71, Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spa) 73 67, Mads Vibe-Hastrup (Den) 72 68
141 Francis Valera (Spa) 73 68, John Mellor 73 68, Federico Cabrera (Arg) 71 70, Paul Waring 70 71, Marcel Siem (Ger) 71 70, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 71 70, Gary Lockerbie 70 71, Eirik Tage Johansen (Nor) 73 68, Matthew Millar (Aus) 70 71, Alejandro Canizares (Spa) 74 67
142 Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (Fra) 74 68, Alexandre Rocha (Bra) 68 74, Thomas Bjorn (Den) 73 69, Inder Van Weerelt (Ned) 72 70, Paul McGinley 72 70
143 Robert Rock 72 71, Callum Macaulay 73 70
144 Barry Lane 71 73, Seve Benson 73 71
145 Carlos Del Moral (Spa) 73 72, Pedro Linhart (Spa) 70 75, Markus Brier (Aut) 70 75, Alastair Forsyth 72 73
146 Michael Campbell (Nzl) 69 77
147 Roope Kakko (Fin) 75 72, Phillip Price 75 72
148 Simon Khan 72 76
RTD: Stephen Dodd 70
Rory McIlroy leads the way in Abu Dhabi as he eyes overdue victory
McIlroy will have to keep his Ryder Cup team-mates at bay if he is to claim the trophy.
Tyrrell Hatton dominant as Rory McIlroy falters in Abu Dhabi
Hatton led by five shots at the end of a second weather-affected day.
Phil Mickelson on Tiger’s latest surgery: ‘I feel bad because golf should be a game of a lifetime’
Mickelson admitted he was saddened by the news of Woods’ latest back surgery.
Rory McIlroy makes brilliant start to fog-affected Abu Dhabi Championship
McIlroy has a remarkable record in Abu Dhabi with four second-place finishes.
Rory McIlroy shines in Abu Dhabi to take first-round lead following flawless 64
McIlroy has a remarkable record in Abu Dhabi with four second-place finishes, three thirds and a fifth in his last nine starts, but has never won.
Justin Thomas on end of Ralph Lauren deal: ‘They moved on so that’s what I’m doing as well’
Justin Thomas said he was upset by...
My last win feels a long time ago – Rory McIlroy aiming to start year on a high
McIlroy has not tasted victory since November 2019.
Rory McIlroy insists Justin Thomas will ‘try to be better’ after homophobic slur
World number three Thomas was heard using a derogatory word towards himself after missing a par putt in Hawaii.
Rory McIlroy backs Tiger Woods to make quick recovery from latest back surgery
McIlroy expects the American to be fit for the Masters in April.