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Kaymer struggles at rain-hit Dutch Open

Simpson of the U.S. hits a shot from the 12th fairway during the final round.


HILVERSUM, Netherlands, Sept 8 (Reuters) - World number three Martin Kaymer made a miserable start to the defence of his Dutch Open title when he squelched to a four-over-par 74 at a soaking Hilversumsche course on Thursday.

The German, still suffering the heavy cold he picked up last week in Switzerland, trails the first round leaders, his compatriot Marcel Siem and twice Dutch winner Simon Dyson of Britain, by nine strokes.

Kaymer now needs a significant change in fortunes in the second round if he is to make the cut to try to hold off world number four Rory McIlroy in the world rankings.

"My cold is making me a little feel weak for sure and that's not the best when the course is playing so long in the wet," Kaymer told Reuters. "Twice I had to hit into the greens with woods on par-fours.

"But I just didn't use all my chances, especially the par-fives. I only had one birdie as well and I just couldn't make a putt. At least I have a long lie-in to try to get myself in shape for tomorrow."

The 2010 U.S. PGA champion gets his extra sleep because the second half of the field -- including McIlroy and world number two Lee Westwood -- had only just began their rounds when he finished his in early evening.

A three-and-a-half hour rain delay, following the loss of 45 minutes earlier to repair four vandalised greens, severely disrupted play.

McIlroy and Westwood are in the second half of the draw and will have to finish off their rounds Friday before turning around to play their second rounds.

Westwood was level-par after eight holes when darkness closed in to end play and McIlroy was one over, also after eight.

Rounds of 65 left Dyson and Siem a stroke in front of Briton Robert Dinwiddie.

Dyson is looking for a hat-trick of Dutch wins and a second victory of the season to maintain his bid for a career-best order of merit placing this campaign.

"It was probably the wettest course I've ever played, but this tournament is always good to me," the July Irish Open winner said. "My best finish on the order of merit is eighth and I'd love to beat that."

Siem, lying 104th on the money-list, cited improved fitness for his appearance on the leaderboard.

"I've been working out every day since last week and it's made my posture better," he said. 

Photo by Reuters
By Norman Dabell, Reuters

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