Graeme McDowell endured a nightmare triple-bogey which threatened to wreck his bid to become champion of champions in Bermuda last night.
The Portrush man finished five shots behind late replacement David Toms in the Grand Slam of Golf at Port Royal.
McDowell’s troubles came at the 436-yard 11th. One under at the time, the Northern Irishman bunkered his approach and then thinned his third shot out of bounds.
The hole cost him a triple-bogey seven and he dropped another shot on the next before coming back with birdies at the 17th and 18th.
The event was supposed to be between the winners of this season's four majors, but Ernie Els came in for Masters champion Phil Mickelson and then Toms was contacted after Open champion Louis Oosthuizen stepped into a pothole and injured an ankle.
The American returned a five-under-par 67, but Els birdied the last to move right onto his heels while US Open champion McDowell had a one-over 72 and Kaymer — winner of his last three tournaments — only a 74.
First prize is £376,000, the runner-up earns £188,000, third place is worth £156,000 and even the player finishing last takes home £125,000.
Meanwhile Rory McIlroy can underscore his reputation as the King Tut of European golf today when he tees it up in the first round of the SODIC Egyptian Open in Cairo.
It’s McIlroy's first appearance on Europe's development circuit, The Challenge Tour, and the €200,000 appearance fee the World No 9 has reputedly been paid shows this event's determination to put itself on the map.
The Egyptian Open is expected to grow into a fully-fledged European Tour event.
For the moment, it gives Boy King McIlroy a rare chance to meet some former competitors from the elite amateur circuit.
They include his 2007 Walker Cup team-mate Lloyd Saltman and defending champion Steven Tiley, just two of the players hoping to win, or cement their place at next week's 45-man Challenge Tour Grand Final in Italy.
For McIlroy, the aim is far simpler. “Yes, I'm here to help promote the event,” he said.
“But the bottom line for me is winning, though knowing a lot of these boys as I do, that's going to require some great golf.”
l PAUL McGinley could become Ryder Cup captain as early as 2012, should health problems force favourite Jose Maria Olazabal to turn down the position.
Olazabal revealed he has spoken to Thomas Bjorn, Chairman of the Tournament Players Committee, who will decide on a replacement for Montgomerie.
But the ailing Spaniard has informed Bjorn he would only be prepared to accept the role on the proviso the Committee understand he could be sidelined for much of the 2012 qualifying period.