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Kaymer, Immelman hit out as play suspended

Press Association logoPress Association 3/02/2017 Phil Casey

Major champions Martin Kaymer and Trevor Immelman led the chorus of disapproval over the European Tour's "ridiculous" decision to suspend play in the Dubai Desert Classic.

Several trees were blown over by the strong winds at Emirates Golf Club, prompting tournament officials to halt play at 2.25pm local time.

However, those players who had battled what they felt were similar conditions on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning were deeply unimpressed by the move, with far better weather forecast for the resumption of play on Saturday morning.

Former Masters champion Immelman, who is set to miss the cut at four-over, wrote on Twitter: "Suspending play now is ridiculous, half the field played 36 holes in these conditions."

England's Chris Wood also hit out at the decision to suspend play.

"This has just been turned into the most one-sided event of the year," Wood tweeted.

Kaymer and Rafa Cabrera-Bello had set the early clubhouse target after defying the conditions to card second rounds of 69 and reach four-under, with South Africa's George Coetzee leading on nine-under after eight holes when the sirens sounded.

Kaymer and his caddie Craig Connelly were both furious about the suspension.

"I've seen it all now! We'll just play the 36holes in that wind then... #S***," Conelly tweeted.

"Hard to understand the difference between the morning play and now, therefore even more surprised about the decision," Kaymer added.

The 32-year-old former world No.1 had been more diplomatic immediately after a superb round containing five birdies and three bogeys.

"Combined with yesterday it was probably one of the toughest 36 holes I've played in Dubai and therefore I'm even more happy to shoot four under par - it's a very decent score," Kaymer told Sky Sports.

"You can complain as much as you want and on the golf course I do - on the TV we shouldn't - but yeah it's true we had tough conditions yesterday, which is just unlucky.

"But today we had fairly poor greens because they didn't touch them at all, so we still had some spike marks from yesterday evening and that's a bit tougher if you know already you are on the wrong side of the draw and then you have to deal with that.

"I'm therefore even more proud of the way I played."

Tournament director Mike Stewart defended the decision to halt play.

"Winds increased during the course of lunchtime into the early afternoon to the point where we had gusts approaching 36 miles an hour and beyond," Stewart said.

"The result was the last hour of play, effectively, before we suspended, it was such that we had a lot of things going on on the golf course.

"We had TV towers that the roofs were blown off. We had balls moving on the greens - blew into a bunker at one stage - five trees came down, it was very unsafe and it was unplayable."

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