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Martin Kaymer maintains slender lead at Abu Dhabi Golf Championship

Martin Kaymer maintained his one-shot lead over Thomas Pieters at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship after a five-under 67 on Friday.

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Martin Kaymer maintained his one-shot lead at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship with an error-free round of 67 on Friday " equalling the course record after 36 holes.

The German is 13 under par at the halfway stage after five birdies in his second round, matching his previous total after two rounds from 2008 when he won the tournament.

Thomas Pieters remains one back after another impressive day, while Rory McIlroy (-11) moved ominously into contention with a six-under 66 that included his first professional hole-in-one.

Starting on the back nine, Kaymer picked up two shots in his opening four holes, and produced a par-saving putt on the 16th to keep his round clean.

Kaymer was far from perfect on Friday, though, with his approach play needing some work if he still wants to be top on Sunday, but he remains positive about his game after a further two birdies on the way back to the clubhouse.

"I didn't miss many fairways, which gives you the opportunity to go for a lot of flags," he said.

"And to be honest I really believe the golf course plays two or three shots tougher in the morning than in the afternoon because once you miss the fairway, you're in that thick, wet grass and then it's almost impossible to get home in two on the par fours. So therefore, I was very happy to shoot five under today.

"I will give it my best to get to the 20s. I'll say it that way. Right now, I'm 13 under par, which is a great score after two rounds."

Pieters collected six birdies in his round, however he blew the chance to finish the day level with Kaymer after bogeying the ninth, his final hole.

Both men will be aware of McIlroy breathing down their necks during the weekend, the world number one closing the gap to just two shots after a superb back nine.

He quickly collected two shots after the turn but it was an ace at the 177-yard 15th that bumped him up the leaderboard, McIlroy watching as his perfectly played tee shot saw the ball role straight into the hole " the third hole-in-one at the tournament this year.

Peter Uihlein is level with McIlroy on nine under, while Alexander Levy and Richard Green are five behind Kaymer going into Saturday's third round.

Friday's lowest round belonged to Bernd Wiesberger who shot a seven-under-par 65, however defending champion Pablo Larrazabal made an early exit after missing the cut by one shot following a round of 72.

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