Kaymer on the move in Munich

Martin Kaymer was lurking dangerously close to the leaders after the second round of the BMW International Open.

Home favourite Martin Kaymer was lurking dangerously close to the leaders after the second round of the BMW International Open in Munich on Friday.

The World No 3 and reigning US PGA Champion shrugged away his unhappy memories of a disappointing US Open where he failed to break 70 and finished way down the field in 39th place and moved back into contention with a four-under 68 that together with his first round 70 took him to 6-under and left him only four shots behind joint leaders Henrik Stenson of Sweden and George Coetzee of South Africa heading into the weekend.

Kaymer started slowly on Friday with seven error-free pars and then, warming to the fact that the skills that took him to the stellar heights he achieved last year were beginning to return, his round caught fire as he posted four straight birdies from holes 8 to 11.

He made a bogey at the 16th hole, but nullified his only slip with his fifth birdie at the last.

Stenson, attempting to break out of an inexplicable slump that has been holding him back during the past two seasons, began his day with a one-stroke lead over the field, and looked set to defend that advantage by two shots and more until he stumbled just before the finish line, bogeying the final two holes and finishing with a so, so 70.

“It’s never fun to finish with two bogeys, but you gain some, you lose some – sometimes that’s the way it is,” Stenson told the media afterwards.
The former world number four, now down at 124th after more than two years without a win, had been three clear of the field when he followed a chip-in eagle on the long sixth with a tap-in birdie at the 441-yard next.
“I’m in a good position and I’m feeling very good,” he added. “I had to fight a little bit early on, but I managed to stay patient.”

Coetzee, in the meantime, was breaking clear of the field with an excellent, second, successive 5-under 67 as he reeled in and finally joined Kaymer at the top of the leaderboard on 10-under.

Coetzee has yet to taste victory on the European Tour and has yet to play in a major championship, but that will change in three weeks – he earned a place in The Open at the sixth hole of a play-off earlier this month.

The 24-year-old from Pretoria is a four-time winner on his home circuit and stated: “I believe I can win every single event there and the more I get in contention in Europe the more I will believe I should be up there (with all the big guns).”

One shot back in third place is Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal – the player Coetzee beat in near-darkness at the Open qualifier.

He could still make it to Sandwich with a top-two finish this weekend, however, and commented: “I really want to play, so I am just going to go for it.”

Larrazabal is also looking to make amends for what happened at this tournament a year ago.

He led with three holes to play, but double-bogeyed the 16th, bogeyed the 17th and lost by two to England’s David Horsey.

On his return to the 16th today he spun his approach into the cup for an eagle two.
“It’s given me confidence – I’m not scared of that hole any more,” he said.

Sergio Garcia, who needs a top-four finish to have any chance of qualifying for the Open Championship, once again looked like a man disillusioned with golf while posting a 71.

After pulling his third shot at the 9th way to the left of the green, he smashed his club into the fairway in frustration – but went on to save par, and at four-under is on the edge of getting back into the hunt again

Italy’s Francesco Molinari fired one of the rounds of the day, shooting a bogey-free 66 as he respected accuracy returned, enabling him to hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation.

He also started well at the US Open only to falter and miss the cut, but he is at five-under as he pushes for a third European Tour win and not looking as if he’ll throw anything away this week.

Luckless Paul Casey won’t be around to do that. A 73 left him at one-over and saw him miss the cut.

Other notables who joined him included German legend Berhard Langer, who ,missed his first cut in 21 appearances at the Munich Open, fellow German Alex Cejka, Englishman Oliver Fisher, Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn and Soren Hansen and China’s Liang Wen-chong.

The Top 10 leaderboard

134 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 64 7, George Coetzee (RSA) 67 67
135 Pablo Larrazabal (Isp) 68 67
136 Bradley Dredge (Wal) 70 66, Tim Sluiter (Ned) 66 70, Simon Khan (Eng) 69 67, Mark Foster (Eng) 68 68, Markus Brier (Aut) 67 69
137 Lloyd Saltman (Sco) 71 66, Peter Lawrie (Ire) 69 68, Graeme Storm (Eng) 70 67, Marcel Siem (Germany) 69 68, Liam Bond (Britain) 69 68, Retief Goosen (RSA) 68 69