Monday, 16 August 2010

Martin Kaymer entered the history books when he became the first continental European to win the US PGA Championship and rest assured, this is just the start for this young man from Germany.

Kaymer has been rewriting the record books with remarkable consistency from the moment he shot 59 in an EPD Tour event in Germany in 2006. Within months, he was blazing a trail on the Challenge Tour, finishing fourth in the Rankings in just eight starts, two of which he won, and that form continued with his graduation to The European Tour.

With five top tens in his first season he was announced as The Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year in 2007, the first German to win the award, and his considerable talent was underlined when he won on his first appearance in 2008 with an impressive wire to wire victory in the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.

A second win, this time in his homeland at the BMW International Open when he became the first German to win the title, confirmed his place in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking. And his rise continued in 2009 with sensational consecutive wins at the Open de France ALSTOM and The Barclays Scottish Open, two of the most prestigious titles in Europe, to rise to 11th in the world.

While progress was temporarily halted almost exactly a year ago when he broke bones in his foot on a Go-karting accident, it was not long before he resumed his winning ways, capturing the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship for the second time at the start of 2010, his fifth European Tour title.

Now his victory in the US PGA Championship, only the third Major Championship victory by a German after the two Masters titles won by Bernhard Langer, has lifted him up to World Number Five.

It also continued a remarkable run for German golf following Langer’s back-to-back Senior Major titles in the Senior Open Championship presented by MasterCard and the US Senior Open, and Kaymer was swift to recognise the impact Langer has had on his own career.

“Obviously what Bernhard Langer did in his career, I think I have a long way to go,” he said. “He was always one of my heroes, for sure, although my role model was and still is Ernie Els. 

“But I just hope with the win, golf is getting bigger and bigger in Germany.  I'm trying to make golf more popular in Germany.  Bernhard Langer, obviously he inspired me when I was a kid, and I hope that I can inspire teenagers, as well.

“And if you follow the Champions Tour a little bit, you can see, Bernhard, he just won two majors in a row.  Well, now I have to win the Masters next year then to accomplish that.”

No European had won the US PGA Championship for 78 years until Ireland’s Padraig Harrington captured the title in 2008 and now there have been two in three years. Indeed, with YE Yang also a European Tour Member, it has been a hat-trick of victories for The European Tour in the US PGA.

It is also a hat-trick of Major titles for European Tour Members this season with Kaymer following US Open Champion Graeme McDowell and Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen to the pantheon of Major Champions.

Together they and others are part of a new generation of young golfers who are set to take the golfing world by storm, and the confidence gleaned from this victory can only help 25 year old Kaymer.

“The Majors are the biggest tournaments that you can win in your career,” he said. “I cannot win anything bigger.  The Majors, they are the biggest tournaments we play, and just knowing that I can win a tournament like that gives me huge confidence for any other tournament I will play for the rest of my career.

“Now I know that I can win and that I can beat the best players in the world.  This was the toughest field all year, and that's just    you know, just for myself, just for my confidence, that is I think the biggest thing that you can get.”

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