It’s advantage Kaymer after first round

DUBAI - Martin Kaymer insists the Race to Dubai is still far from finished, despite taking a considerable step towards outright victory at the Jumeirah Golf Estates on Thursday.

By Alex Leach

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Published: Sat 27 Nov 2010, 12:18 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:17 AM

The front-running German got off to a fast start against his only title rival Graeme McDowell and never looked back as he finished the day’s play third on five-under.

McDowell meanwhile could only finish on level par, but – in spite of the considerable five-stroke margin at this late stage – Kaymer is refusing to get carried away with three days left of the season.

“He (McDowell) was two-over par, but then you could see that he was fighting back,” Kaymer said.

“He gave himself good chances the last few holes. Everybody has to expect him to play well.

“He’s one of the best players in the world and he can easily shoot five or six-under every day, so it’s not over,” Kaymer said.

Kaymer though was still rightly pretty satisfied with his day’s work as he bids to win this season-ending competition – the Dubai World Championship – and thus the Race to Dubai as well.

“I’m very happy as it’s been a good start,” he added.

“67 is a great round. I played solid golf and my putting felt good, so I’m very happy. That start really helped me; I was three-under after three holes.

“He was level par, so those things helped me focus more on my game. My goal is to put myself in a position on Sunday morning that I can win the tournament. That is the goal for the week – to put myself there and to have a chance to win on Sunday afternoon,” Kaymer said.

Kaymer’s initial burst, and opening gambit overall, has certainly left McDowell facing an uphill struggle and he admitted as much afterwards.

“It was a tough day because Martin got out of the traps early and left me in the dust, literally, out there,” the Ulsterman explained.

“I was struggling to get things going and things seemed to be getting away from me. “But, I was happy to dig in coming in, make a couple of birdies and I certainly did not play myself out of the tournament today.

“There were some good scores and it was a tricky day. I didn’t play myself out of it, but I need a big weekend from here.”

He added: “He’s five shots ahead of me – that’s all it is. We have 54 holes left and a lot of golf left this weekend.

“I have to do better and it’s as simple as that. It’s in there and there’s certainly no panic yet. I certainly haven’t shot myself in the foot just yet. I’m ready to go out there tomorrow (Friday) and get myself back in the golf tournament.”

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