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Kaymer keen to push on and end drought in front of adoring fans

 

Lining up: Martin Kaymer is loving playing in front of his home fans
Lining up: Martin Kaymer is loving playing in front of his home fans

By Phil Casey

Martin Kaymer delighted the home fans with an opening 67 in the BMW International Open in a bid for his first victory in five years.

Kaymer, whose last European Tour title came in the 2014 US Open at Pinehurst, carded five birdies in a flawless round at Golfclub Munchen Eichenried to lie one shot off the lead held by Italy's Andrea Pavan.

With a thunderstorm forcing play to be suspended for almost three hours, the first round will be completed today.

"I didn't play great but I played solid, and put the ball in good positions to give myself chances," Kaymer said.

"I had three crucial putts that kept the momentum on my side, so overall very solid."

Addressing the support, he added: "It's very nice, and as a German, it's very rare we have that.

"We play many, many tournaments in America and Britain, so those guys are a bit more used to it, but for me, it's only once a year so it's also a little bit tricky because it's so unexpected.

"It's a bit of an adjustment, the first three or four holes but it's very fun."

England's Oliver Wilson is alongside Kaymer on five under par, with defending champion and Race to Dubai leader Matt Wallace part of a large group two shots further back following a 69.

Wallace, who flew to Germany after finishing 12th in the US Open last Sunday, said: "I didn't take advantage of the par-fives and I was in good shape on most of them so it's a little disappointing.

"I'm still maybe getting over a little bit of jet-lag so the intensity wasn't quite there but it's not bad."

Wallace played alongside four-time Major winner Brooks Koepka in the third round at Pebble Beach and is trying to emulate the World No.1's composure on the course.

"That was probably my proudest moment ever on a golf course, playing with him," the 29-year-old Londoner added.

"I was three over after nine, not playing well, but I controlled my emotions well, birdied 14 and eagled the last to shoot level par and keep myself in the tournament.

"I learned a lot that day - leave the door open for something good to happen, and it did."

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