Apr 16th, 2021
Cañizares leads in Austria
Spaniard one shot ahead at Austrian Golf Open
Photography: Getty Images
Spain’s Cañizares has two European Tour titles to his name, which came eight years apart in 2006 and 2014, and the 38-year-old is aiming to bridge a seven year gap for his third victory this week at Diamond Country Club.
He recorded one of only seven eagles all day at the chilly Austrian venue, after a stunning second shot into the par five fourth left him with a five foot putt which he duly converted. Four birdies and a single bogey earned him the lead heading into day two, ahead of tightly-bunched chasing pack.
I putted very nicely, just missed a short one when I made the bogey, that was about it, but from tee to green I was very stable. Very happy with the round, the last two putts were really big, I'm really pleased with the way I finished," said Cañizares.
“I think the strength was just keeping my head on every shot because it's very easy when you miss a shot to let it go on days like this when you're struggling physically and mentally to keep warm."
Leading that chasing pack on five-under-par is a quartet comprising two-time winner in 2020, John Catlin of the USA, Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg, Jacques Kruyswijk of South Africa and two-time Major winner Kaymer.
"The biggest battle was probably the cold, but in general the golf course plays pretty well, the conditions are nice, the greens are good.," said Kaymer.
"Especially when I played in the morning, I had a very nice group, we were flowing, we all played fairly decent. I didn't make many mistakes, so four-under was a decent start."
The German Ryder Cup star made clear his intentions to collect a 12th European Tour title this week in Austria and six birdies en route to his 68 certainly helped that cause.