Kaymer targets Dunhill defence

Martin Kaymer returns to St Andrews this week in a bid to successfully defend the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Martin Kaymer returns to St Andrews this week in a bid to successfully defend his Alfred Dunhill Links Championship title.

He describes last year as a “fairytale” victory, bringing what had already been a dream year, one that saw him win his first major championship, to a successful close as he carded a final-round 66 on the Old Course to take the spoils.

St Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie will once again co-host the event, as it does every year, and Kaymer enjoys the format.

“You play on three wonderful golf courses, so it’s probably the best week of the year on the European Tour,” he said.

“It was my last win last year, so to finish off the season by winning at St Andrews was kind of like a fairytale. It was beautiful.

“So I’m really looking forward to the week. Very rarely do you go to a golf tournament this excited about playing a golf course. I feel ready – it’s definitely going to be a nice week.

“This feels like home for me. When I was standing today on the first tee, it just felt so peaceful.

“A lot of the players say that Augusta is paradise, but for me St Andrews is paradise. It is the Home of Golf, it’s where I feel the most comfortable.”

Which course is the most difficult in the German’s opinion?

“I think Carnoustie is definitely the toughest of the three golf courses,” he said. “You can score well at Kingsbarns and St Andrews if the weather is okay.

“But at Carnoustie, if you shoot level par there on a good day that’s still a good score, so it’s the toughest of the three courses, for sure.”

Kaymer has not always been a fan of links golf, however.

“When I was an amateur I came here twice, once for the Amateur Championship and again for the British Boys, and I didn’t really like links golf at all – I found it quite unfair,” he said.

“But then when I came back and played more often in Scotland and Britain, I became a lover of these golf courses.”

Kaymer will be joined at the Pro-Am event by his father Horst, who will be his playing partner, and elder brother Philip, who will carry his bag.