Three-time champion Martin Kaymer says his hunger for more success in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship is greater than ever, and the big-hitting German says he’s ready to make extra space for another ‘Falcon’ in his prized trophy cabinet as he prepares to contest the January event.
Twenty-eight-year-old Kaymer has made Abu Dhabi his ‘home-from-home’, securing three titles in 2008, 2010 and 2011 to see him become the Championship’s most successful player in its eight year history.
In recognition of his epic third title, Kaymer got to keep the 5.3 kilo Falcon trophy – a £25,000 piece of silverware specially commissioned from renowned British silversmith Edward Asprey.
“It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Abu Dhabi Golf Club’s National Course, which is almost like a second home for me,” said Kaymer. “I’ve experienced some of the greatest and most memorable wins of my career there. I find the atmosphere to be an extremely calming environment, it just feels very natural for me. It was an honour to be presented with the specially commissioned Falcon trophy after my big third win. It stands proudly in my cabinet at home in Dusseldorf, but there’s always space for one more!”
After a wire-to-wire victory in 2008, marking his first European Tour title at the tender age of 24, Kaymer found the Falcon in his triumphant clutches again in 2010, with a tense one-shot win over fellow Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter.
Next January’s showpiece will mark three years since the 6’2” Major-winner made history in the capital of the United Arab Emirates with his glorious 2011 hat-trick. The former world number one charged into Abu Dhabi’s record books, carding the still-unbeaten record Championship combined score of 24 under par over four rounds. His stunning performance also established a new Championship record for the largest winning margin of eight strokes.
“There’s a combination of factors contributing to my love for Abu Dhabi,” added Kaymer. “There’s the amazing welcome and hospitality the players receive, and I also feel extremely comfortable on the tee and can read the greens well.”
Düsseldorf-born Kaymer is looking to recapture his record-smashing form on Abu Dhabi’s notoriously tricky National Course, and to improve on his sixth-place finish in 2013, after surprisingly missing the cut in 2012.
“I’ve taken a lot of positives from this season having spent time working on my game and I am feeling confident going into Abu Dhabi,” said Kaymer. “I’ve made a lot of progress and am looking forward to relaxing over Christmas before heading to Abu Dhabi refreshed and ready for the season.”
Kaymer will join a star-studded field for the Championship, including: world number four and five-time Major winner Phil Mickelson, world number five and US Open title-holder Justin Rose, world number six Rory McIlroy, former world number one Luke Donald, Abu Dhabi’s record-breaking ambassador Matteo Manassero, and reigning Champion Jamie Donaldson.
The Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship 2014 is organized by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and runs from January 16-19 at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. Tickets and packages are available via the event’s official website – www.abudhabigolfchampionship.com - and Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.ae), and are priced at AED50 for a daily pass and AED150 for a four-day pass. Guests staying at any Abu Dhabi hotel over the Championship period enter free.