Sun, Jun 03, 2018 - Page 11 News List

Kraymer hits form to secure halfway Open d’Italia lead

AFP, MILAN, Italy

Germany’s Martin Kaymer on Friday hit eight birdies in a flawless second-round eight-under-par 63 to surge to the halfway lead at the Open d’Italia in Brescia, Italy.

The 33-year-old two-time major winner opened up a one-shot lead on five fellow Ryder Cup players at the Gardagolf Country Club in northeastern Italy.

Kaymer, who has slumped to 117th in the world rankings, climbed back into contention after his opening-round 68 and stands at 11-under-par.

Home hope Francesco Molinari, bidding for a third Italian Open win a week after his triumph at the BMW PGA Championship, is one of five players one-stroke behind.

Molinari hit five birdies for a five-under-par 66. The 35-year-old Italian sits alongside Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello, Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, Belgian Thomas Pieters and England’s Danny Willett.

“It has been a while that I played that solid without making a mistake,” said Kaymer, whose last tournament victory was at the US Open in 2014. “I think I was getting very close recently, but that positivity was missing on the golf courses, because I haven’t had a lot of results recently.”

“I have been playing well, I just couldn’t see a good score,” he said. “It was just a matter of putting the right mental attitude on to the golf course.”

Willett has also struggled with injuries and form since his major breakthrough at the 2016 Masters Tournament. He carded four birdies in a 67, while McDowell, who has not won on the European Tour since 2014, had a round of 66 as he and Cabrera Bello, who signed for a 67, set the morning pace.

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