Westy crashes as Kaymer hits back

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Martin Kaymer kept alive his slender chances of easing into the World No 1 berth with a 70 in the Qatar Masters on Friday.

Germany’s Martin Kaymer kept alive his slender chances of easing into the World No 1 berth on Sunday when he shot a solid 70 on day two of the Commercialbank Qatar Masters at the Doha Golf Club.

Hanging in as he did was especially important in light of the fact that World No 1 Lee Westwood went crashing out of the event on a day when Austrian Markus Brier was to charge into a one-shot lead at the halfway stage.

Westwood endured a horrific front nine and the Englishman’s second-round 75 was one too many to make the weekend.

Despite easier scoring conditions as the high winds that blighted the first day relented, Westwood dropped four shots before the turn and his lone birdie at the last was not enough to survive the cut.

In contrast, Brier was in sparkling form as he hit the top of the leaderboard with a flawless six-birdie 66 – the first bogey-free round of the tournament.

The Austrian leads by one from former winner Darren Fichardt, the South African mixing eight birdies with four bogeys in an entertaining 68,.

It was Thomas Bjorn, though, who claimed the round of the day with a superb 65.

The veteran Dane parred the first and birdied the next five holes before picking up three further shots on the closing stretch to move to five under alongside Robert Karlsson and Richard Finch.

Overnight leader Retief Goosen reached seven under with his fourth birdie of the day at the 12th, but he bogeyed 14 and double-bogeyed 17 to slip back into a share of sixth.

Meanwhile, fighting back after posting a shock 77 in a nightmare first round that included a double bogey when he allowed ambition to get the better of good judgment and tried to play a shot from out of a pile of rocks, Kaymer carded a solid, error-free 70 on his second visit to the Doha course this week and it helped edge him past the cut with nothing to spare on three over par..

Notched on an unforgiving Doha GC course that is giving nothing away, Kaymer’s 70 helped hoist the 26-year old to three-over par and and get him back into the race with an outside chance of a strong finish if he can reproduce some of his Abu Dhabi magic come the weekend..

“I was not very pleased yesterday with the way I played so I am a little happier today,” Kaymer told Reuters afterwards.

“But then that’s the funny nature of this sport we play. One day you can have a 77 without one birdie and then today you can shoot a round of 70 with two birdies and no bogeys.

“I am trying hard to shoot a good score here, but I just can’t putt on these greens.

“It’s still very tough out there with the wind getting up again, but three over par should be okay although I am going to be a long way behind.”

Kaymer needs to finish first or second in Qatar and World No 1 Lee Westwood no higher than 22nd for the Germany to replace the Englishman at the top of the rankings.

In the meantime a somewhat forgotten Lawrie, 42, had turned back the clock when he signed for a 66 in an event he last won 12 years ago in 1999, some five months before clinching victory at the Open Championship at Carnoustie.

“It’s always special coming back to a place where you have won,” Lawrie said, “even though it’s been over a decade since I did it”

“But yesterday was the toughest day I’ve ever experienced in all my years coming here to Doha.

“There is a lot of rough out here and when you’ve got the wind we had yesterday, it makes for a tough day in the office.

“I had 31 putts yesterday but I was pleased in that I putted a lot better today, as reflected in my having eight birdies, so that was nice.”

Aiken, 27 is still looking to capture a first Race to Dubai tournament success in his fourth full season on the European Tour and has promised not to cut his hair again until this is accomplished.

The Johannesburg-born player did not drop a shot in recording a three under par 69 for a 140 tally.

England’s Robert Rock birdied two of his last three holes for a 68 that put him in second place, but this was just before overnight leader Retief Goosen and Austrian Markus Brier were about to move to the top of the leaderboard at 5-under, Brier after 10 holes and Goosen after 9.

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