MARANA, Ariz. -- Martin Kaymer, who made the clinching putt in the Ryder Cup, never trailed in his match with Rafael Cabrera Bello, who had beaten him in the Volvo World Matchplay.
"It was a tough match," Kaymer said. "It's never easy against him. But he was very unfortunate with some putts today. He had a few chances to go back to all square, especially on the back nine, but I played very solidly. Hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens, hit good putts. Very similar to yesterday."
He took the early lead with a two-putt birdie at the par-5 second hole but gave that back with a bogey at the fourth. The German managed to head to the back nine 2 up, though, after a birdie at the seventh and a par to the Spaniard's bogey at No. 9.
Kaymer made an 8-footer for his final birdie of the day at the 11th hole to go 3 up. Cabrera Bello did cut into Kaymer's lead at the next par 5 but the two halved the next four holes with pars to send the German to the third round for the third straight year.
Kaymer reached the championship match in 2010, losing to Luke Donald 3 and 2, and was eliminated in the third round a year ago. He has a home in Scottsdale, which is about 90 minutes away, and is very familiar with desert golf.
"So this is golf that I play very often," said Kaymer, who joined the PGA TOUR for the first time this year. "I don't mind playing here. I like it, it's just really nice. That's why I always play very well in the Middle East, very similar conditions to here."
SCORECARD STATS: Kaymer made three birdies and two bogeys. Cabrera Bello made two birdies and two bogeys.
HOLES WON: Kaymer won four holes. Cabrera Bello won two holes.
NEXT OPPONENT: Hunter Mahan, the defending champion, who beat Richard Sterne 4 and 3.