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Kaymer five ahead of McDowell in Race to Dubai

FIRST ROUND LEADERBOARD (GB & Ireland unless stated):
-7 R Karlsson (Swe) -6 S Noh (Kor) -5 R Kaymer (Ger) -4 T Jaidee (Thai)
Selected others: -3 I Poulter, L Westwood -2 P Casey -1 D Clarke, R Fisher, R McIlroy


Graeme McDowell and Martin Kaymer discuss their opening rounds at the Dubai World Championship which sees the German leading the Northern Irishman by five shots

Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell is five shots behind Race to Dubai rival Martin Kaymer following the first round of the Dubai World Championship.

US Open champion McDowell, who said he had felt unwell, had an opening level-par round of 72 while USPGA winner Kaymer fired an impressive 67.

Kaymer sank a 192-yard seven-iron for an eagle two at the third and is two behind leader Robert Karlsson in third.

Swede Karlsson, the 2008 Order of Merit winner, leads by one on seven under.

South Korean teenager Noh Seung-yul, who won the Malaysian Open in March, carded three birdies on each nine for a 66 to stand in second spot.

On a day of remarkable shots, Charl Schwartzel recorded a hole-in-one with a seven-iron over the water at the 186-yard sixth, while Rory McIlroy holed a 50-yard bunker shot to birdie the fourth.

The 21-year-old from Northern Ireland dropped three shots en route to an opening round of 71.

Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee occupied fourth place on his own at four under.

McDowell, who is down in joint 25th position, said: "I didn't feel 100% out there and I am very happy with level par considering I started throwing shots away like they were going out of fashion.

"Obviously it was a tough day. Martin came out of the traps early and left me in the dust literally.

"I was struggling to get going and had a couple of careless three-putts, but I am happy with how I dug in. I need a big weekend, but he is five shots ahead of me, that is all."

World number one Lee Westwood, the defending champion and course record holder, had successive birdies on the back nine to reach four under before a five at the 16th took him back to minus three on the opening day.

The 37-year-old has only played once in the last five weeks, finishing runner-up to Francesco Molinari in Shanghai, because of continuing calf trouble.

"Everybody's got to remember I'm still rehabbing," he said. "I've not been able to work on my game and it does not help that it's as hot as it is - it makes it swell.

"I'm hoping it'll be back to 100% next season and I'm looking forward to not having to worry about it. I showed I was rusty and was not competitive sharp, but I hit only two iffy shots all day."

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see also
McDowell relishes Kaymer showdown
24 Nov 10 |  Golf
Kaymer commits to European Tour
23 Nov 10 |  Golf
Kaymer wins controversial USPGA
16 Aug 10 |  Golf

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