Kaymer seizes 1-shot lead at KLM Open

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 2:54 PM ET

HILVERSUM, Netherlands -- Making his first start since winning the PGA Championship last month, Martin Kaymer birdied the 18th hole Saturday to take a one-shot at the KLM Open.

Kaymer blasted out of a greenside bunker to about one foot for his closing birdie, his second in a row, and posted his best score of the week with a four-under 66.

He finished three rounds on the Hilversumsche course with a 10-under 200.

Fabrizio Zanotti (65) and Christian Nilsson (68) were tied for second place at nine-under 201, while Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (67), Shiv Kapur (70) and Nicolas Colsaerts (70) shared fourth at eight-under 202.

Kaymer, the world No. 6, is chasing his seventh European Tour victory and third this season. In addition to his playoff victory at Whistling Straits last month, Kaymer also won the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in January.

The 25-year-old German tops the tour's Race to Dubai standings as the leading money winner in 2010.

"Once you lead the tournament you should win the tournament, so of course I expect myself to win," Kaymer said.

He started the third round two shots off the overnight lead shared by Kapur and Colsaerts and picked up two strokes on the front nine with a pair of birdies, making the turn in 33 shots.

Kaymer bogeyed the 11th hole for just his third dropped shot of the tournament and was perfect the rest of the way. He came right back with a birdie at the 12th.

Trying to catch Zanotti, who was the first player in the clubhouse at nine- under par, Kaymer strung together four straight pars and headed to the final two holes one shot back.

His caddie reminded Kaymer that rain is forecast for Sunday and there's a chance the tournament could be shortened to 54 holes, saying to the player: "We don't know if we can play tomorrow."

"Maybe we should be a little more aggressive," was Kaymer's response, and he made a birdie at the 17th hole.

At the 500-yard 18th, a reachable par-five, Kaymer knocked his second shot into a bunker right of the green. But he hit a nearly perfect shot to get out, carrying the ball over a ridge and getting it to roll all the way down to about a foot for the closing birdie.

"Probably one of the best up and downs this week," Kaymer said.

Nilsson catapulted himself to 10-under and into the lead with a spectacular three-hole run on the back nine. He followed an eagle at the par-five 12th with back-to-back birdies, but was derailed by a bogey at the 16th.

NOTES: Kaymer, a member of the European Ryder Cup team, is aiming to make it five wins in a row for players on Colin Montgomerie's squad. Kaymer's victory at the PGA was followed by wins from Peter Hanson, Edoardo Molinari and Miguel Angel Jimenez.


Videos

Photos