DOHA (Reuters) - Germany’s Martin Kaymer kept alive slim hopes of moving to World No. 1 at the weekend with a 70 on day two of the Qatar Masters in Doha on Friday which followed a horror opening 77.
It moved the 26-year old World No. 2 to three-over par and seven strokes behind Briton Paul Lawrie and South African Thomas Aiken who share the first round clubhouse lead on four-under.
“I was not very pleased yesterday with the way I played so I am a little happier today,” Kaymer told Reuters.
“But then it’s the funny nature of this sport we play. One day you can have a 77 without one birdie and then today you can shoot a round of 70 with two birdies and no bogeys.
“I am trying hard to shoot a good score but I just can’t putt on these greens.
“It’s still very tough out there as the wind was getting a bit stronger but three over par should be okay although I am going to be a long way behind.”
Kaymer needs to finish first or second in Qatar and World No. 1 Lee Westwood no higher than 22nd for the Germany to replace the Briton at the top of the rankings.
Lawrie, 42, signed for a 66 in an event he won in 1999, five months before clinching victory in the British Open at Carnoustie.
“It’s always special coming back to a place where you won even though it’s been over a decade since I won here,” Lawrie told Reuters.
“But yesterday was the toughest day I’ve ever experienced in all my years coming here to Doha.
“There is a lot of rough out here and when you’ve got the wind we had yesterday then it makes for a tough day in the office.
“I had 31 putts yesterday but I was pleased in that I putted a lot better today as reflected in my having eight birdies so that was nice.”
Aiken, 27 is looking to still capture a first Race to Dubai tournament success in his fourth full season on the European Tour.
The Johannesburg-born player did not drop a shot in recording a three under par 69 for a 140 tally.
Briton Robert Rock birdied two of his closing three holes in a 68 to be in second place at three under par.