Kaymer storms clear with five straight birdies

Martin Kaymer looked in danger of missing the cut at the start of his second round, but ended it top of the Italian Open leaderboard.

Martin Kaymer at the Italian Open   -  Getty Images

Martin Kaymer strung together five birdies on a stunning back nine to take the outright lead at the Italian Open on Friday.

Two-time major winner Kaymer went from battling the cut in Brescia to taking a one-shot lead over a five-way share of second with a remarkable eight-under 63.

The German began his run of gains at the 13th but could not keep it going until the last, where he had to settle for par – as did playing partner Danny Willett, who sits in the tie for second.

Kaymer joined Graeme McDowell, Rafael Cabrera Bello and Willett in the lead when he rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt on 16, and he followed it up with one more to move clear.

Thomas Pieters and Francesco Molinari are the other two players in second, with the Italian BMW PGA Championship winner making it four flawless rounds on the European Tour in succession.

Robert Rock was in a three-way share for the overnight lead but slipped to seventh by carding a one-under 70, while Laurie Canter and Richard Sterne slipped to 17th by going one over.

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