KAYMER HAS MORE THAN MERE TALENT
Martin Kaymer, on course to become only the second German to play in the Ryder Cup, has proved he is not just a talent, but a fighter too.
Martin Kaymer, on course to become only the second German to play in the Ryder Cup, has proved he is not just a talent but a fighter too.
The 23-year-old, tipped for great things by Bernhard Langer, is up from 10th to sixth on the points table after a second victory of the season at the BMW International in Munich.
Yet what a relief it was for him in front of his home fans.
As in Abu Dhabi in January, Kaymer led by six with a round to go. But whereas he was never caught there, this time he followed two bogeys on the front nine with a triple-bogey eight on the 11th after making what he admitted afterwards was “a big mistake”.
With one to play he trailed Dane Anders Hansen by one, but last season’s Rookie of the Year made a two-putt birdie on the par five to tie and did the same for a winning birdie when they went into sudden death.
“I think I have a really good chance now,” said Kaymer when asked about his position with 10 events to go in the cup race.
“A six-shot lead is a lot, but it does not feel like that. The most important thing (after he hit a five-iron and then a pitch into the lake on the 11th) was just to keep fighting – and I did.
“It was very exciting and to be the first German to win this is very special.”
As it was to win in the week where he pulled out of the eve-of-tournament pro-am to visit his seriously ill mother. “This is for you,” he added, shedding tears.
Kaymer missed his first five halfway cuts last season as he struggled to adjust to all the long-haul travelling the tour involves.
But he knew he had the game. He won twice in eight starts as he finished fourth on the 2006 Challenge Tour and before that registered five victories in 12 weeks on the German mini-tour.
In one of those he scored a second-round 59 containing an eagle and 12 birdies – and followed it up with a 62 to triumph by 10.
His first victory on that circuit had come while he was a 19-year-old amateur and once the main tour returned to Europe last year he began to find his feet.
After a third-place finish in Portugal he was joint leader with a round to go in the Wales Open and joint third after 54 holes of the French Open, then missed another opportunity for his first win by double-bogeying the final hole of the Scandinavian Masters.
The foundations had been laid, though, and after top-10 finishes in his last two events of the season – with an 11-under-par 61 in the first of them – he burst onto centre stage in the Middle East at the start of this year.
As well as winning in Abu Dhabi he was runner-up to Tiger Woods in Dubai after a birdie-birdie-eagle finish.
English trio Paul Casey, Mark Foster and John Bickerton were joint third yesterday, while Colin Montgomerie’s 16th place was at least an improvement on the last few months.
The circuit moves on to the French Open this week.
Collin Morikawa wins Race to Dubai as Rory McIlroy’s frustrations boil over
The Northern Irishman appeared to rip his shirt open in the recording area behind the 18th green.
Tiger Woods shares footage of him hitting balls as rehab continues
Woods was injured in a car accident in February.
Rory McIlroy takes one-shot lead into final round in Dubai after shooting a 67
England’s Sam Horsfield is just a shot off the lead, one ahead of Scot Robert MacIntyre.
Double bogey on final hole sees Rory McIlroy slip shot off the pace in Dubai
The round one leader is a shot behind Ryder Cup team-mate Shane Lowry, England’s Sam Horsfield and American John Catlin.
I’m on the right path – Rory McIlroy excited about road to next majors challenge
McIlroy is now a combined 148 under par in the £6.6million season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
Open champion Collin Morikawa determined to take chances in Race to Dubai bid
Morikawa had the chance to top the Order of Merit by winning last year’s DP World Tour Championship.
Rory McIlroy unlikely to change schedule despite new-look European Tour
The European Tour will be known as the DP World Tour from the 2022 season but Florida-based McIlroy will continue to focus on the PGA Tour.
Punter’s pointers at the DP World Tour Championship: Course and desert specialists to the fore
It’s the final week of the 2021 European Tour season and the best 50 players of the season are convening at Jumeirah’s Earth Course.
JB Hansen wins AVIV Dubai Championship to claim second European Tour title
The Dane finished a shot clear of Italy’s Francesco Laporta and Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger.