Tee-Off: Goosen sets the early pace in Qatar as Kaymer struggles to find form

The world number two has yet to hit his stride as he attempts to leapfrog Lee Westwood with a win at this weekend’s Qatar Masters.

Image: Karl Jeffs/AP/Press Association Images

SOUTH AFRICAN RETIEF GOOSEN has laid down the early marker on the opening day of the Qatar Masters, shooting a round of 69 to take an early clubhouse lead of three under-par.

On a day when scoring conditions were tough in Doha, Goosen’s steady performance was enough to give him a one shot advantage over his nearest competitors.

Defending champion Robert Karlsson joins Englishman Richard Finch and Goosen’s fellow South African Darren Fitchardt in the clubhouse with scores of two under-par.

Paul Lawrie shot a level-par round which is currently good enough to give the Irishman a share of tenth position, with world number one Lee Westwood a further shot back on one over-par.

A number of players remain on course, including world number two Martin Kaymer who is yet to complete his opening round at the Doha Golf Club. Knowing that a win this weekend would most likely see him leapfrog Westwood at the top of the charts, the German is struggling to find form on day one. He is currently five shots off the lead, posting a score of two over-par through 13 holes.

Kaymer’s convincing win in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago saw him eclipse Tiger Woods in the rankings charts, knocking the American out of the world’s top two positions for the first time since October 2004.

Keep an eye on the remainder of Kaymer’s first round in Doha with this live leaderboard.

The US tour resumes later this afternoon when the Waste Management Phoenix Open gets underway. Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson join last week’s winner Bubba Watson at the head of the field.

Missed out last weekend’s action? Check out Neil Cullen’s golf round-up here | Rory McIlroy revealed yesterday that he’d shave his head for a win at Augusta. Catch up with the youngster here.

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Niall Kelly

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