Kaymer shines again in Abu Dhabi

January 15, 2015 13:49:21 UK

Three-time winner Martin Kaymer showed that he will again be the man to beat at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship by shooting a superb opening round 64.

Kaymer won this tournament in 2008, 2010 and 2011, but had warned before teeing off that changes to the set-up of the course meant that he was far from a certainty to clinch a fourth victory.

I’m trying to improve, get a few things in order and that just didn’t work out that well.

Henrik Stenson

However, having said prior to his round “they have changed a few greens, a few tee boxes, so therefore it’s not a given that I will win this”, Kaymer proved his own thinking wrong as he recorded eight birdies and two bogeys to storm into an early lead.

The reigning US Open champion is 8-under par, with Belgian Thomas Pieters one shot back, while both Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler made solid starts, as they both shot 67s to lie three shots back from Kaymer.

They are a shot behind a group of five players on 6-under par which includes Mikko Ilonen and Alexander Levy.

Kaymer can now be backed at 4.33 to win a fourth Abu Dhabi crown, with three-time runner-up McIlroy 4.33 and Fowler 7.50.

Meanwhile, Swede Henrik Stenson was left to survey the wreckage of a birdie-free round of 76, which left him 12 shots adrift of leader Kaymer, after some technical changes to his swing failed to pay off.

He told reporters after a day of struggles: “I had a few things I was working on with my swing and they didn’t really work out that good. I just didn’t play that good at all.

“When you haven’t played competitively for four to five weeks you’re always going to be a little rusty, but it’s more a few things on the technical side I’m working at.

“I’m trying to improve, get a few things in order and that just didn’t work out that well.”

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