Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Germany's Martin Kaymer drove into the rocks on the 15th hole during a day of frustration at the Qatar Masters yesterday.
Germany's Martin Kaymer drove into the rocks on the 15th hole during a day of frustration at the Qatar Masters yesterday.

Abu Dhabi winner has a rocky day in Doha

Martin Kaymer, in pursuit of Lee Westwood for the world No 1 spot, has a frustrating round in the Qatar Masters and could miss the cut.

Martin Kaymer, the World No 2, went from the sublime to the ridiculous on a day of strong winds in Doha yesterday.

Two weeks after starting his season with an eight-shot victory in Abu Dhabi - achieved with a 24-under-par total which almost defied belief - Kaymer did not manage a single birdie in an opening 77 at the Qatar Masters.

Struggling in gusts of more than 30mph, the 26-year-old German was blown off course in his pursuit of Lee Westwood at the top of the rankings and finished the day eight strokes off the pace.

Retief Goosen, the South African who was celebrating his 42nd birthday, was the only player to break 70, although just before play was called off because of darkness Sweden's Niclas Fasth joined him on three under par with two holes still to play today.

Westwood, who could lose the world No 1 spot if Kaymer finishes in the top two on Sunday, managed only a 73 himself, but that was good enough for a place inside the top 20.

After only one bogey all week a fortnight ago, Kaymer dropped shots at the sixth and 12th and then drove into rocks three holes later.

The US PGA champion tried to play his way out of trouble, but knocked the ball only a few yards and then took a penalty drop on his way to a double-bogey six.

Another shot went at the short 17th and he is now in danger of his first missed cut since the Scottish Open last July. He has had four wins, including his first major, since then.

Goosen, in contrast, has not tasted victory for nearly two years and his last European Tour success was this event in 2007.

The double US Open champion was, however, joint third in Abu Dhabi, albeit 10 shots adrift of Kaymer, and continued that form in the far more difficult conditions.

"I drove it nicely, but it was tough to get the ball close to the flags and when you were putting you were getting blown all over the place," Goosen said.

Fasth's last win was four years ago and it is now nine years since he helped Europe win the Ryder Cup at The Belfry.

He made a 15-foot birdie putt on the seventh, his 16th, in the fast-fading light to put himself and Goosen one ahead of Robert Karlsson, the defending champion, England's Richard Finch and Darren Fichardt, the 2003 winner.

John Daly came home in 42 to match Kaymer's 77, Steve Stricker, the world No 7, was only one better than that and Ryder Cup winner Ross Fisher slumped to an 80.

Paul Casey, the winner in Bahrain on Sunday, needed three birdies in his last four holes just for a 74, while Ian Poulter birdied two of his last three for 72 and joint 10th.

"Feels like I've been a punch bag for [Floyd] Mayweather today," Poulter said on Twitter. "Shame I'm not at the Phoenix Open - I've got 10 mates there for three days then they're off to Vegas."

He might have changed his mind after hearing that the start of that event was delayed by frost.

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Yuvraj Singh, left, and Virat Kohli of Royal Challengers Bangalore celebrating after they won their IPL match against Delhi Daredevils at Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: IPL 7 action at Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Royal Challengers Bangalore’s power-hitters laid down a marker at the first opportunity in IPL 2014 as they cruised past a hapless Delhi Daredevils with eight wickets, 20 deliveries, and about three more gears to spare in front of a packed house at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday, April 17, 2014.

 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho looks on during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium on April 13, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

‘That’s why we are a top club’ says Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech

Jose Mourinho’s men will temporarily claim the Premier League top spot if they beat Sunderland, leaving them in control of their own destiny in the title race ahead of a crucial trip to face Liverpool at Anfield on April 27.

 Chris Burch will play fly-half as part of a new-look back line for the UAE national rugby union team that will face Singapore at The Sevens grounds in Dubai. Sarah Dea / The National

Chris Burch to lead UAE’s charge against Singapore

he UAE’s bid to safeguard their place in the second tier of Asian rugby against Singapore next week will be piloted by a player who was contemplating retirement from the sport at this time last year.

 Opening performance during Day 3 of the World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship at the First Gulf Bank Arena at Zayed Sport City in Abu Dhabi. Mona Al-Marzooqi/ The National

In pictures: Day 3 of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship

All the action from Day 3 of the World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship at the First Gulf Bank Arena at Zayed Sport City in Abu Dhabi.

 Atletico Madrid's Cristian Rodriguez, second left, celebrates his goal with team mates, and coach Diego Simeone, third right. Atletico are on the cusp of a Primer Liga title. AP Photo/Andres Kudacki

Atletico Madrid look to edge towards Primera Liga title before Chelsea visit

Diego Simeone's men need to win just four of their five remaining games to seal the Primera Liga championship and they take on Elche before the first leg of their Uefa Champions League semi-final against Chelsea on Tuesday.

 Jorginho accepts the challenge that lies ahead for Al Wasl's improvement, and the club says it will give him time ... if they see results.  Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Wasl will give Jorginho time but results in Arabian Gulf League are needed

Al Wasl officials said they will provide Jorginho, their new coach, sufficient time to change the club’s fortunes while also warning that his fate ultimately will depend on results.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National