Martin Kaymer said it felt “very, very nice” to be heading into the weekend as leader of the BMW International Open.
After a run of lean years, the two-time major winner is back in the hunt for a trophy and thrilled to be performing well in front of a home crowd.
He put himself in contention on Thursday with a fine 67 at the Golfclub Munchen Eichenried and bettered that in his second round, as a 66 gave Kaymer a two-shot lead on 11 under par.
Kaymer had two bogeys in his opening three holes but repaired the damage and found five birdies in eight holes from the 11th onwards to surge to the top of the leaderboard.
The German has not landed a title since the 2014 U.S. Open. He previously triumphed at the US PGA Championship in 2010, and had a spell at world number one, but Kaymer was ranked as low as 191st only last month.
However, the 34-year-old has two top-10 finishes in 2019, at the Memorial and the British Masters, and is back inside the top 100 with confidence flooding back into his game.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) June 21, 2019
Speaking after Friday’s round, Kaymer said he had “scrambled well” in the early holes but was otherwise struggling, however the closing holes were a different story.
“It’s a very, very nice position to be in but it’s always difficult leading golf tournaments,” Kaymer said in a European Tour interview.
“Now I don’t really play against anyone else, I just play against myself, try to reach my number and hopefully it’s enough to still be in the lead on Saturday evening.”
South African 25-year-old Christiaan Bezuidenhout, ranked 332nd in the world, sits second on nine under after a 65, the lowest round of the week so far.
Finland’s Kim Koivu shot a 66 to move into a share of third on eight under with Sweden’s Sebastian Soderberg, who signed for a 67.
England’s Lee Westwood featured in a seven-player group on seven under after adding a 69 to his opening 68 – the first time since January he has begun a European Tour event with successive sub-70 rounds.