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Kaymer powers into lead in the Italian Open

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(Reuters) – Former world number one Martin Kaymer took the Italian Open lead with a bogey-free, eight-under-par 63 in his second round at the Gardagolf Country Club on Friday.

Kaymer, who shot three-under in Thursday’s opening round, hit five birdies in a row to reach 11-under overall, a shot ahead of former Masters champion Danny Willet and local favourite Francesco Molinari.

Willet and twice-Italian Open champion Molinari tied for second with Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Ryder Cup vice-captain Graeme McDowell and Thomas Pieters.

Overnight leaders Robert Rock, Laurie Canter and Richard Sterne struggled, with Canter and Sterne shooting one-over for a share of 17th place. Rock shot one-under on the day to slip back into a share of seventh place.

Pablo Larrazabal retired from the tournament after injuring his wrist at the 14th hole.

(Reporting By Arnab Paul in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King)

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