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Kaymer making the most of cross border road trip

Kaymer making the most of cross border road trip

Martin Kaymer was delighted to have made the short drive from Munich to Atzenbrugg after firing an impressive opening 68 at the 2021 Austrian Golf Open.

Martin Kaymer

In testing, cold conditions, the German made six birdies and two bogeys to sit just a shot off the lead at Diamond Country Club, a course he had never seen until Monday morning.

The drive accross the German-Austrian border from Bavaria takes just under four hours, giving Kaymer plenty of time to get in some vital, if not always pleasant, practice.

"I've never played the golf course, so it was very new for me when I came on Monday," he said. "I drove from Munich, it's a very convenient tournament for me to participate in. 

"I've enjoyed the golf course - not so much on Monday when it was snowing - but Tuesday, Wednesday and today was enjoyable and so close to my country. I like to come to Austria.  

"It was quite similar to yesterday. Still cold and windy, but in the tournament you do hit it a little bit better, a little bit further. The adrenalin is up, your focus is up, so I was quite pleased the way I played the golf course under those conditions today."

Kaymer got off to a fast start from the tenth, birdieing the 11th and 12th and adding another gain on the 15th before bogeying the 17th.

He kept his foot down making gains on the first, third and fourth before dropping a shot on the sixth.

"The biggest battle was probably the cold, but in general the golf course plays pretty well, the conditions are nice, the greens are good," he said.

"Especially when I played in the morning, I had a very nice group, we were flowing, we all played fairly decent. I didn't make many mistakes, so four under was a decent start."

Another player who admitted he was feeling the cold was American John Catlin, who sat next to Kaymer at four under after a bogey free effort with gains on the 13th, second, fourth and fifth.

"The front nine was very, very cold," he said. "I told my caddie, 'I'm going to keep my hands in my gloves and have you hold the yardage book out and do my work that way'.

"That's abnormal for me but I found that I needed to do that to keep my hands warm."

Rikard Karlberg is playing at Diamond Country Club for the sixth time, with a best finish of of fourth in 2012, and he was relishing the challenge after matching Kaymer and Catlin with a 68.

"It was tough but there were also some opportunities if you took on the par fives so even if it was cold and windy, it was quite enjoyable and you had to have your head sharp and it was playable, so it was fun," he said.

"I do like the look of this place and I think when you’ve been here so much - they have been great hosts for the European Tour for over ten years now – I've been here a lot and you get to know how to play the course as well."

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