Martin Kaymer finds some form to lead Italian Open

Germany’s Martin Kaymer claimed a one-shot lead at the halfway mark of the Italian Open after carding eight birdies in a flawless second-round 63 at Gardagolf.

Kaymer lies at 11 under par, is a shot clear of Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello, Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, home favourite Francesco Molinari, Belgian Thomas Pieters and England’s Danny Willett.

With the cut falling at four under, all 83 players will like their chances of mounting a challenge in Brescia in a congested leaderboard.

Kaymer looks to be returning to form that saw him win two majors as he reeled off five successive birdies on the back nine. The 33-year-old, who has fallen to 117th in the Official World Golf Ranking, has done very little since winning his second major at Pinehurst in 2014.

On the front nine, Kaymer birdied the second third and eighth and followed that up with on the back nine with five birdies in a row from the 13th to the 17th hole to take the lead heading into the weekend.

Willett carded four birdies in a 67, while McDowell shot a 66 as he and Cabrera Bello, who signed for a 67, set the morning pace.

Playing partners Pieters and Molinari both birdied the 17th to join the leading pack.

Dane Thorbjorn Olesen, Swede Jens Dantorp, South African Erik Van Rooyen, Robert Rock were all tied for seventh on nine under.

Leading scores after Round Two:

1 GER Martin Kaymer -11 68 63 – 131
T2 ENG Danny Willett -10 65 67
T2 ITA Francesco Molinari -10 66 66
T2 NIR Graeme McDowell -10 66 66
T2 ESP Rafael Cabrera Bello -10 65 67
T2 BEL Thomas Pieters -10 65 67
T7 RSA Erik Van Rooyen -9 65 68
T7 CHN Haotong Li -9 68 65
T7 SWE Jens Dantorp -9 67 65
T7 ENG Robert Rock -9 63 70
T7 DEN Thorbjorn Olesen -9 65 68
T12 RSA Dylan Frittelli -8 67 67
T12 JPN Hideto Tanihara -8 67 67
T12 ITA Matteo Manassero -8 66 68
T12 ENG Richard Bland -8 70 64
T12 AUS Scott Hend -8 68 66