MUNICH – Home favourite Martin Kaymer fired a second-round 66 to claim a two-shot lead at the halfway stage of the European Tour’s BMW International Open in Munich on Friday.
The two-time major champion birdied the final hole to move two strokes clear of South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout at the top of the leaderboard on 11-under-par for the tournament.
Former world number one Kaymer is looking for his first title since lifting the US Open trophy in 2014.
But the 34-year-old German has seen an upturn in form this season, climbing to 93 in the rankings having started the year 172nd.
Kaymer is bidding for his second victory in the event, having won the 2008 edition.
“The home support inspires, it’s different,” he told europeantour.com
“Sometimes you feel embarrassed. It’s a lot to handle at certain times because I’m not that kind of guy that likes to be in the spotlight -- but it’s a positive thing and I need to see it as something positive.
“It’s going to be exciting for sure. It’s never easy leading a golf tournament but fortunately I’ve done it a few times in my career.”
The 322nd-ranked Bezuidenhout carded a seven-under 65 to seal a spot in the final group for Saturday, while Finland’s Kim Koivu and Sweden’s Sebastian Soderberg sit at eight-under.
Another former world number one, Lee Westwood, is just one shot further back.
But Sergio Garcia’s poor 2019 campaign continued as the Spaniard missed the cut by a stroke despite a two-under 70.
The 2017 Masters winner has now failed to make the weekend in four of his last six events, and only managed to finish tied-52nd in last week’s US Open at Pebble Beach.
India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar sunk a hole-in-one at the tournament on Friday, winning a car worth €194 000 for his efforts.
The 31-year-old, ranked 175th in the world, holed his tee shot on the par-three 17th hole after starting his second round on the back nine.
Bhullar’s short-iron shot bounced in the fringes of the green before trickling forward and dropping into the side of the cup.AFP