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Karlsson Leads, Kaymer Two Back in Dubai

Robert Karlsson blitzed the Jumeirah Golf Estates shooting 65 for a one shot lead at the Dubai World Championships.

Ending the day at (-7), Karlsson rode a 31 on the back nine to best Korea’s Noh Seung-yul by a shot.  The Swede’s final nine holes included 4 birdies and an eagle on the par-5 14th and he was lights out on the greens needing a meager 25 putts over 18 holes.

However, with Martin Kaymer just two back, Karlsson is not the bookmakers favourite as he heads to round two at (5-1). 

Kaymer, meanwhile, has taken over top spot with the books from world #1 Lee Westwood.  The PGA Champion will tee off on Friday at (3-1) hoping to build on his opening 67.

Kaymer’s opening round was a solid all-around performance which saw the 25-year old hit 16 of 18 greens, including a spectacular hole out for eagle on the par-4 3rd hole.

The German looks to have brought his ‘A-Game’ to the party this week and the field should take notice.  The last time Kaymer showed precision of this level he was in the midst of a THREE tournament winning streak.

The real wildcard at the top of the leaderboard is Korean Noh Seung-yul who is just one off the lead.  He was in a similar position at the HSBC Masters earlier this month, but faded over the final 54 holes to finish in 16th.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to expect him to fade again this week, but with considerable and ever-improving game it wouldn’t be a surprise if he stayed in the mix either.  Noh has already won this year having taken top spot at the Malaysia Open beating out the likes of countryman KJ Choi and Denmark’s Soren Hansen. 

Sergio Garcia has had a disastrous season, but he opened with a 69 and is currently 5th in Dubai.  The highlight of his season is certainly the Ryder Cup where he didn’t even play, but joined the team as an assistant captain.

Want a long shot?  Sergio is your guy at (33-1).  However, not much should be expected of the Spanish star, especially in a field with so much talent.  He is coming off a top-10 at the Andalucia Masters in October, but that was only his second top-10 of the year.

Finally, world #1 Lee Westwood joins Garcia at 3-under and the books continue to show confidence in the Englishman as he sits second on their board at (5-1).  However, as was lamented yesterday, Westwood is notorious for missing out on victory.  It’s a real wonder why the books continually rank him so high.


Putting allows the touchy golfer two to four opportunities to blow a gasket in the short space of two to forty feet    - Tommy Bolt

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