Kaymer extends advantage
Despite a strong finish from Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer looks almost certain to start his season off with a victory.
Despite a strong finish from Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer looks almost certain to start his season off with victory at the Abu Dhabi Championship.
McIlroy finished with a birdie and an eagle on the 17th and 18th for a 65, closing the gap for only a short while before Kaymer (66) also birdied his last two holes, extending his lead to five shots heading into the final round.
Kaymer, who is in imperious form at present, look set to push Tiger Woods a further spot back on the world rankings and claim the No. 2 spot for his own.
The 26-year-old has only carded one bogey in his last 79 holes of professional golf, an impressive statistic by any measure.
Unsurprisingly, McIlroy doesn’t expect the German to let his advantage slip.
“Martin is a very good leader,” he said. “He does not lose many tournaments from the position he is in.
“If I give myself enough opportunities, as I did today, I am sure there’s a low score out there and hopefully I will go close.
“But Martin is playing very, very well.
“I could have holed a few more, but it’s swings and roundabouts and I will take 65 any day.”
Kaymer, looking to secure his third Abu Dhabi Championship in four years, is now 74 under par for his last 15 rounds at the venue. A top seven finish will be good enough to unseat Tiger on the rankings.
Kaymer also made no bones about what he expect from himself come Sunday.
“My driving didn’t feel so good, but I managed to hit the greens, my putting feels good and 66 is a fantastic round.
“Now I expect myself to win and I’d like to win by as many as possible. I rarely shoot over 70 on the course (just once in 15 rounds) and that’s my goal.”
England’s David Lynn (67) is in third place a further shot behind McIlroy, while Swede Alex Noren and South African Charl Schwartzel are both two further back in fourth.
Elsewhere, it was a disappointing day for the likes of Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood, who didn’t manage to make up any ground on the leaders. Phil Mickelson, in one of his rare European Tour appearances, is also well off the pace.
‘Stupid is as stupid does’ – Phil Mickelson criticises club length restriction
The R&A and USGA have brought in a ‘model local rule’ to limit all clubs other than putters to a maximum of 46 inches.
Top-level golf tournaments to be given option of imposing limit on club length
This could curb the big-hitting likes of Bryson DeChambeau in their continual quest for greater length off the tee.
THE CJ CUP: Vegas links that could help us hit the jackpot this week
The PGA Tour remains in Las Vegas this week and several players in the field have some home advantage which could prove significant.
Betting preview: Sam Burns to continue impressive form in the Shriners Children’s Open
The PGA Tour heads to Las Vegas this week and Planet Sport tipster Jack Kelliher has four selections for the tournament.
Feuding rivals Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka to clash in ‘The Match’
Tensions have run high between the pair since early 2019.
Four golfers to oppose short priced favourite Jon Rahm with in this week’s Open de Espana
The European Tour heads to Spain for three weeks and the action begins at Club de Campo Villa Madrid.
Danny Willett enjoys perfect birthday with Alfred Dunhill Links Championship win
The Englishman won for the first time in over two years.
Danny Willett in pole position to win Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
The major champion could be having a double celebration on Sunday.
Tyrrell Hatton takes one-shot lead into Dunhill Links Championship third round
Fellow Ryder Cup stars Danny Willett and Tommy Fleetwood were not far behind.
Solid start for Sungjae Im at Sanderson Farms Championship: Can he land a second PGA Tour title?
The Korean posted a first round of 67 at the Country Club of Jackson as he made his 2021/22 seasonal bow.