Kaymer hitting form in Italy

Germany’s Martin Kaymer set about silencing any lingering Ryder Cup critics with a timely return to form on day two of the BMW Italian Open in Turin.

If there is a question mark hanging over the head of any one of the dozen European Team members, than it has been clearly Kaymer.

The 27-year old Dusseldorf golfer secured the 10th and final automatic qualifying spot, having not enjoyed a top-10 finish since banking a share of seventh in April’s Maybank Malaysian Open.

But after a Royal Park second round score of 66, Kaymer moved to eight under par and just four strokes behind England’s Richard Bland, who recorded a similar 66 to move to 12-under par.

“The most important thing is that I played consistently yesterday and today, and I’m very happy because while I missed a few shots, I am not very far away from my best,” said Kaymer.

“My putting is still not quite there but I am giving myself so many chances, and it’s a little frustrating when you see guys going further away than you by making putts. But it’s okay and I know it will happen.”

Bland birdied the last to break clear of four players in second place on 11-under par — Scotland’s Marc Warren (65), Frenchman Gregory Bourdy (64), Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (65) and South African Garth Mulroy (67).

Kaymer’s Ryder Cup colleagues Francesco Molinari (69) is on seven under par and Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts battled a bout of diarrhea to birdie four of his last five holes in a 67 to be six under.

European Team captain Jose Maria Olazabal’s long hours on the range paid off in carding a 70 yesterday as he just made the four under cut right on the mark.

Clara’s Shane Lowry (67) and Ballyclare’s Gareth Maybin (71) share the leading Irish honours on seven under par.

Belfast’s Michael Hoey (67) and Kells Damien McGrane (65) are just a stroke further back on six under par and with Hoey drawing on the confidence of lifting a handful of euro from the pocket of his caddy, James Baker, thanks to a newer putting grip.

Hoey has turned to a ‘claw’ grip style of putting by resting the putter between his index and middle finger, and this after winning the Hassan 11 Trophy in Morocco earlier this year putting with his index finger down the shaft of the putter.

The Belfast golfer had eight birdies and recorded just 27 putts in his round.

“I have been using a new claw and pencil-like putting grip and it’s started to work quite well today, but then it’s starting to feel really comfortable,” said Hoey.

“I practised with it last week and it feels one piece putting, and it also takes the right hand out, as it locks the right hand in place and you can’t do anything with it.

“It’s a bit like Sergio’s (Garcia) putting grip but then on the practice putting green I’ve given my caddy, James a head start and taken money off him every time.

“We’re only talking €15 but then I’ve always been a bit inconsistent when it comes to putting and a bit two hands, so this takes the hands out.”

McGrane was delighted after his round that included eight birdies and just one dropped shot.

“I made plenty of birdies and it’s always good to throw in a 65 as it proves that I can still shoot low out here when I need to,” he said.

“It looks like it is going to be low scoring out here over the weekend so I needed to go low and shooting in the 60s.

“And a bit of weekend work is always good.”

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox