Kaymer takes Abu Dhabi lead

European Tour

Martin Kaymer carded an eight-under par 64 on Thursday to open up a one shot lead after the first round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

Kaymer fired four birdies and a bogey on the front nine and six birdies and a bogey on the way in to hit the front at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

“I putted well. I made ten birdies. I’m not sure if I have ever done it on a golf course, hit ten birdies,” he told the European Tour website.

“I hit a lot of fairways, my irons were quite sharp and I putted well. It’s very difficult to shoot a bad score when you play like this.

“Now the goal is not to compare myself tomorrow to the round what happened today. Tomorrow will be a new start but it’s a brilliant start to a great tournament.”

The German will win the tournament for a fourth time should he triumph this year, after winning in 2008, 2010 and 2011 and finishing as runner-up in 2009.

The 30 year old played alongside defending champion Pablo Larrazabal, who finished the first round on one-under after carding a 71.

Belgium’s Thomas Pieters holds second on the leaderboard after firing eight birdies and a single bogey on his way to carding a seven-under 65. The 22-year-old is yet to win a European Tour event.

A group of five players currently share third place, including Alexander Levy who won the Portugal Master and Volvo China Open on the European Tour last year.

World number one Rory McIlroy is one shot behind, tied for eighth with five other players, after carding a 67.

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