Written by
Mark Lamport-Stokes
Oct 14 2023
- 4 MINS
MK Jeddah day 2

KING ABDULLAH ECONOMIC CITY, Saudi Arabia – In many ways, it was a bittersweet day for Cleeks GC captain Martin Kaymer after he soared up the leaderboard by shooting a sparkling 4-under 66 in the second round of LIV Golf Jeddah presented by ROSHN.

While the 38-year-old German was happy to end another hot, breezy day on the shores of the Red Sea in a tie for ninth on the individual leaderboard at 6-under 134, he was mindful of the fact that his good form in Jeddah might cause his Austrian teammate Bernd Wiesberger to be relegated from the LIV Golf League.

Non-captain players who finish 45th or lower in points at the end of LIV Golf Jeddah will be relegated out of the league but will have a chance to regain a spot at the Promotion tournament in December. Wiesberger ended Day 2 in Jeddah in 45th spot, after carding a 2-under 68, while Kaymer, who had entered the week ranked 49th, was in 44th place.

"Well, I am aware," Kaymer said about potentially relegating Wiesberger. "On one hand, obviously I feel for Bernd. We have been friends for many, many years but, on the other hand, that's sports, you know. It is what it is. If you don't play good enough, you're not going to be in the League. It's unfortunate that right now, as it stands, I am the guy who is kicking him out but that's how it works.

"I hope he shoots a really low score tomorrow and I am not the reason. And I hope I also shoot a low score tomorrow so we can look forward to 2024 together. The team thing is important but we are all here to play as good as we can and that's what I am trying to do tomorrow."

Tied for ninth, Kaymer is the best placed of the Cleeks players heading into the final round of the regular-season finale at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club. In-form Englishman Richard Bland is two strokes adrift after carding a 69 on Saturday while Wiesberger is tied for 31st at 1 under. Although Ulsterman Graeme McDowell improved with a 69 in the second round, he languishes in a share of the 44th spot at 2-over 142.

Kaymer, who missed the first three LIV Golf events of the year while recuperating from offseason wrist surgery, has been delighted with his form in Jeddah. He opened with a 68 on Friday, then rebounded superbly on Saturday after double-bogeying his opening hole, the tricky third par-3 third.

"My game has been very solid and without many mistakes," said Kaymer, who birdied the fourth, 10th, 13th, 15th, 16th and 18th on his way to a second-round 66. "The third hole is a tough start because it's not the hole that you want as the first one. But I birdied the next hole immediately so to be one over after two holes wasn't terrible.

"And then I kept the same game plan as yesterday. My short game has been really nice this week. I didn't miss that many putts and I could capitalize on the birdie chances that I had so my driving became a lot better. I am starting to feel the game of golf a little bit better since I had that injury, so it's been a very enjoyable two days."

The Cleeks will head into the final round in Jeddah in a three-way tie for ninth place on the team leaderboard at 11 under. This season, overall, has been a frustrating one for them and they have placed in the bottom two spots six times in the team standings.

However, signs of improvement have been evident over the last three months with finishes of 6th, 7th, 9th and 9th in their last four LIV Golf starts and they will look to end the regular season with a flourish on Sunday.