Abu Dhabi - The familiar name of Martin Kaymer - a three-time champion of the
tournament - was back on top of the leaderboard on Friday at the $2.7
million Abu Dhabi Championship, a second successive round of six-under
par 66 giving the German a one-shot lead at the halfway stage.
32-year-old, also a two-time major champion, made two bogeys during his
round, but compensated with an eagle and six birdies.
par 132, he was one ahead of Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello, who shot a
66 himself that included three birdies in his final three holes.
leader Henrik Stenson of Sweden completed a battling round of one-under
par 71 to slip to tied sixth at nine-under par, with three young stars - England's Tommy Fleetwood (67), Ireland's Paul Dunne (66) and
Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (68) - leapfrogging him to tied third
place at 10-under par.
The two US PGA Tour players in the
tournament - defending champion Rickie Fowler and world No3 Dustin
Johnson -- put up a much-improved performance of four-under par 68 each
to make it to the weekend. The cut came at two-under par 142.
Kaymer has had much success at the National course of Abu Dhabi Golf
Club, he has also faced the ignominy of losing a 10-shot lead in 13
holes on Sunday here a couple of years ago.
"I felt like I played a
little bit better than yesterday. It was a bit more difficult today
with the wind, especially the first nine. I struck the ball a little bit
better and I made a few long putts today," said the German, who is yet
to add to his winning tally after the 2014 US Open.
"I don't try
to push at all. I just try to enjoy playing my favourite golf course.
Once in a while, when a putt drops in, you catch momentum and you can
make another three or four birdies coming in, like it happened today.
have all kind of experience on this golf course - very good ones, and a
couple poor ones. So I learned from the US Open, and it worked out for
me very well that I approach every day as a new day and don't compare to
what happened the last day or on Thursday. That's the same way I will
try to approach tomorrow."
Cabrera-Bello had a superb 2016, except for the fact that he did not win any tournament.
The world No28's last win was down the road in the 2012 Dubai Desert Classic, and he was delighted to get into contention again.
obviously wish it would come sooner than later, but I'm in no hurry. I
know it will come," said the Spaniard, who qualified for the Ryder Cup
"I wouldn't give myself an A-plus for last year, but it
has been the first season of my career when I achieved every single
thing except for winning. I can't really put too much blame on myself
for that because sometimes you just need to wait for it to happen.
"I did give myself lots of chances and I'm sure if I continue on that line, it will happen."
the major names missing the weekend action were reigning Masters
champion Danny Willett, reigning DP World Tour Championship winner
Matthew Fitzpatrick and 2011 Open champion Darren Clarke.
Leading second-round scores at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship at the National course of Abu Dhabi Golf Club on Friday (par 72):
132 - Martin Kaymer (GER) 66-66
133 - Rafa Cabrera-Bello (ESP) 67-66
134 - Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 67-67, Paul Dunne (IRL) 68-66, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) 66-68
135 - Pablo Larrazabal (ESP), Wang Jeung-hun (KOR) 68-67, Tyrrell Hatton (ENG) 67-68, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 64-71
136 - Sam Brazel (AUS) 71-65, Chris Paisley (ENG) 71-65
137 - Chris Hanson (ENG) 71-66, Lee Westwood (ENG) 68-69, Maximilian Kieffer (GER) 70-67, Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 68-69, Curtis Luck (Am-AUS) 72-65, Peter Uihlein (USA) 70-67, Peter Hanson (SWE) 68-69, Bradley Dredge (WAL) 68-69
138 - Ross Fisher (ENG) 69-69, Gary Stal (FRA) 69-69, An Byeong-hun (KOR) 69-69, Branden Grace (RSA) 68-70, Oliver Fisher (ENG) 66-72, Jordan Smith (ENG) 68-70, Thomas Bjorn (DEN) 68-70, Jason Scrivener (AUS) 68-70, Marc Warren (SCO) 66-72, Alex Noren (SWE) 71-67, Benjamin Hebert (FRA) 71-67
139 - Dean Burmester (RSA) 69-70, Lee Slattery (ENG) 68-71, Daniel Brooks (ENG) 73-66, Anthony Wall (ENG) 69-70, Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) 69-70, George Coetzee (RSA) 70-69, David Drysdale (SCO) 70-69
140 - Matteo Manassero (ITA) 73-67, Andy Sullivan (ENG) 70-70, Magnus A Carlsson (SWE) 74-66, Mikko Korhonen (FIN) 68-72, David Lipsky (USA) 68-72, Robert Karlsson (SWE) 70-70, Alvaro Quiros (ESP) 70-70, Rickie Fowler (USA) 72-68, Dustin Johnson (USA) 72-68, Alejandro Canizares (ESP) 72-68, Ryan Fox (AUS) 69-71, David Horsey (ENG) 71-69, Romain Wattel (FRA) 72-68
141 - Ian Poulter (ENG) 69-72
144 - Chris Wood (ENG) 76-68, Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG) 69-75,
145 - Trevor Immelman (RSA) 72-73, Thomas Pieters (BEL) 73-72
146 - Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 72-74
150 - Darren Clarke (NIR) 75-75, Danny Willett (ENG) 74-76