Blistering heat and a blistered foot served only to bring out the best in the young German Martin Kaymer here yesterday. The 24-year-old began the French Open with a course record-equalling 62 – 10 better than Padraig Harrington, who now has a fight on his hands to avoid a fifth successive missed cut just two weeks before his bid for an Open hat-trick at Turnberry.
"I've been missing a lot of short putts, but everything came together," Kaymer said after taking a three-stroke lead over England's John Bickerton, Thai Thongchai Jaidee, Australian Scott Strange, Swede Peter Hanson and Argentina's Rafa Echenique. Kaymer's round actually began with a bogey, but after five birdies in the next nine holes he chipped in for eagle at the long third and finished with three more birdies for an inward 30. Harrington was paired with Ian Poulter but they both finished down the field on one over.