Kaymer, GMac paired in first round

Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell have been bracketed together on day one of the Dubai World Championship.

Race to Dubai front runner Martin Kaymer and his pursuer-in-chief Graeme McDowell have been bracketed together for Thursday’s first round of the Dubai World Championship at the luxuious Jumeirah Eastate’s Earth Golf Course.

Kaymer, the reigning US PGA Champion, leads US Open champion McDowell heading into Thursday’s tee-off, but kaymer’s lead, though distant enough from the rest of the field so as to make this year’s season-ending battle for the European Tour crown a virtual two-horse race, is not large enough to stop his Northern Ireland rival carrying off the crown if he wins on Sunday.

McDowell and Kaymer will go out as the last two-ball of the day on Thursday with Italy’s Francesco Molinari and World No 1 Lee Westwood, the defending champion, in the group directly behind them, followed by seasoned South African three-time major winner Ernie Els and the in-form English star, Ian Poulter.

Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, coming off an ankle injury suffered in a hunting accident, is bracketed with the eldest of the Molinari brothers, Edoardo, one slot behind fellow South African Charl Schwartzel and the charismatic Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez.

The only major winner not in this high class field is Phil Mickelson, who qualified as a member of the European Tour via his Masters victory, but plays very little golf on this tour.

The list of tee-off times, which has been drawn up according to the order in which its 60 qualifiers finished, is as follows: (Gbr and Irl unless stated, all times GMT):
0330 Thomas Aiken (RSA), Soren Hansen (Den)
0340 Robert-Jan Derksen (Ned), Johan Edfors (Swe)
0350 Gregory Bourdy (Fra), Thomas Bjorn (Den)
0400 Robert Rock, Marcus Fraser (Aus)
0410 Henrik Stenson (Swe), Gary Boyd
0420 John Parry, Chris Wood
0430 Oliver Wilson, Richie Ramsay
0440 Soren Kjeldsen (Den), Brett Rumford (Aus)
0450 Sergio Garcia (Spa), Ignacio Garrido (Spa)
0500 Jamie Donaldson, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra)
0515 Noh Seung-yul (Kor), Thongchai Jaidee (Thai)
0525 YE Yang (Kor), Peter Lawrie
0535 Gareth Maybin, Damien McGrane
0545 Alejandro Canizares (Spa), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa)
0555 Simon Dyson, Darren Clarke
0605 David Horsey, Matteo Manassero (Ita)
0615 Joost Luiten (Ned), Gregory Havret (Fra)
0625 Stephen Gallacher, Simon Khan
0635 Retief Goosen (RSA), Danny Willett
0645 Anders Hansen (Den), Robert Karlsson (Swe)
0700 Fredrik Andersson Hed (Swe), Richard Green (Aus)
0710 Padraig Harrington, Rhys Davies
0720 Peter Hanson (Swe), Alvaro Quiros (Spa)
0730 Ross Fisher, Luke Donald
0740 Rory McIlroy, Paul Casey
0750 Louis Oosthuizen (RSA), Edoardo Molinari (Ita)
0800 Charl Schwartzel (RSA), Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa)
0810 Ernie Els (RSA), Ian Poulter
0820 Francesco Molinari (Ita), Lee Westwood
0830 Graeme McDowell, Martin Kaymer (Ger)