Austrian Golf Open: Alejandro Canizares Takes Early Lead, Martin Kaymer Lurks

Martin Kaymer at Austrian Golf Open at Diamond CC
Martin Kaymer hits his tee shot on the 2nd during Day One of the Austrian Golf Open at Diamond CC on April 15, 2021 in Atzenbrugg, Austria. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Alejandro Canizares utilized his lengthy Tour experience to card a valiant round of 67 on a cold and windy opening day at the 2021 Austrian Golf Open.

Despite winter-like temps during his late morning round at Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg, a suburb of Vienna, the Spaniard carded an eagle and four birdies against just a single dropped shot to get to 5-under par.

“I’m very pleased,” said Canizares, who holds a world ranking of No. 628.

“It was tough to keep focus – it’s so cold. It was tough to feel the hands and that’s very important.

“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.

“It was just do my process and do every shot and I was happy the way I managed bad shots because I didn’t let them get to me like has happened in the past. That was the key.

“I didn’t think that I played wonderfully tee to green, it wasn’t beautiful, but I hit some really good shots and I made some good putts in the end, so a solid round overall.”

Alejandro Canizares Leads Austrian Golf Open at Diamond CC
Alejandro Canizares walks on the 9th green during day one of the Austrian Golf Open at Diamond CC on Apr 15, 2021 in Atzenbrugg, Austria. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

A group of four players were just a shot back at 4 -under 68, headlined by two-time major champion Martin Kaymer, and two-time 2020 Tour winner John Catlin.
Rikard Karlberg and Jacques Kruyswijk were the others in the T2 logjam.

Kaymer, the tournament headliner, got off to a quick start on Thursday, carding three birdies over his first six holes before dropping a shot late to turn on 2 under. The German had the same sequence on his inward nine, making three birdies on his first four holes, followed by a single bogey en route to a 4 under.

“I’ve never played the golf course, so it was very new for me when I came on Monday,” said 36-year old Kaymer, who’s still in search of a victory following that magical 2014 four-start stretch that saw him win The PLAYERS Championship and the U.S. Open, his second major at the age 29.

“I drove from Munich, it’s a very convenient tournament for me to participate in.

“I’ve enjoyed the golf course – not so much on Monday when it was snowing – but Tuesday, Wednesday and today was enjoyable and so close to my country. I like to come to Austria.

“It was quite similar to yesterday. Still cold and windy, but in the tournament you do hit it a little bit better, a little bit further. The adrenalin is up, your focus is up, so I was quite pleased the way I played the golf course under those conditions today.”

Sweden’s Niklas Lemke has withdrawn from the 2021 Austrian Golf Open after testing positive for the covid-19 flu.

2021 Austrian Golf Open

Top-5 Leaders: Round One
Pos-Player-To Par-(Rd 2)
1. Alejandro Canizares -5 (67)
2. Martin Kaymer -4 (68)
2. John Catlin -4 (68)
2. Jacques Kruyswijk -4 (68)
2. Rikard Karlberg -4 (68)

Material used from the European Tour Media & Communications to compile report.


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