Martin Kaymer is just 36 holes from his first win in five years after taking the halfway lead in the $2.2 million BMW International Open in Munich.
The two-time major winner added a 6-under-par 66 at Golfclub Munchen Eichenried to his opening 67 to move to 11 under, two shots clear of South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout.
The 34-year-old home favorite is seeking his second BMW title following his 2008 victory. That win is one of 11 the German has on the European Tour, a tally that includes the 2010 PGA Championship and the 2014 U.S. Open. Yet winning America’s national championship five years ago was Kaymer’s last victory. He’s posted two second place finishes since then, but hasn’t managed to get his hands on a trophy.
He’s looked like winning material through the first 36 holes in Munich, despite bogeying two of his first three holes to start his second round.
“I didn’t play as well as (Thursday), especially on the first nine – I wasn’t comfortable the way I was hitting the ball,” he said. “I missed a lot of shots right but I was scrambling well. Today was a day where I’d need to hang in there, shoot one or two under and then move on. Then, all of a sudden, things changed. I felt something nice in my swing and from the 11th I played really well.”
That’s not actually true. Kaymer hit a really bad shot at the par-3, 12th hole but still managed to birdie the hole.
“My tee shot on 12 was a shocking one, you don’t want to put yourself in that bunker. I would have expected myself to get to four or five feet, but not hole it. That was unexpected.”
Kaymer has been winless for so long he’s relishing his place at the top of the leaderboard.
“It’s a very nice position to be in. It’s always difficult leading golf tournaments. Now I just play against myself, try to reach my number and hopefully it’s enough to be in the lead on Saturday evening.”
Bezuidenhout is looking for his first victory in just his second full season on the European Tour.
Defending champion Matt Wallace and veteran Lee Westwood are among seven players tied for fifth place on 7 under.