Martin Kaymer will receive a hero’s welcome when he steps on to the first tee at Gut Lärchenhof tomorrow as he plays his first event since his US Open victory in his own back yard.
The 29 year old German stormed to victory at Pinehurst No. 2 a week and a half ago and, after a week under the media spotlight, now returns to golf at the BMW International Open.
Kaymer grew up 30 kilometres from this week's venue, Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof, and will therefore be the centre of attention as he seeks to make it two wins in a row.
Ranked second in the Race to Dubai, a 12th European Tour title this week would see him usurp Thomas Björn, but is well aware it may not be that easy.
"For me, the main thing is to start off well to the tournament and then we'll see if I have a chance on Saturday and Sunday.
"Two years ago, I didn't even qualify for the weekend, so it's a tough week and the expectations I think should be low."
Kaymer, who won the US PGA Championship four years ago and ended the season as Europe's Number One, accepts that the attention that goes with winning a Major.
"Obviously it's very normal if you've done something special, if you've won a Major. People want to talk to you, and it's completely fine.
"Now I can handle it a lot better. In 2010 and after The Ryder Cup, it was a little more difficult because I didn't really know what to expect. Now it's fine."
He added: "It was very nice, the next two or three days after the US Open. I went to New York for three days, and I could reflect very quick, which was very surprising for me. It was very satisfying and makes you very proud.
"In the past, it took me a little bit, even after the US PGA Championship, I think it took me six, seven months to really realize what happened because I was so young and it was a little bit of a surprise for me, too. But that win was a little bit different, so it was really nice to reflect right away and to understand what really happened."
As much as he may have enjoyed reflecting on his US Open triumph, Kaymer is keen to be back in action.
"I've done a lot of talking, a lot of interviews the last 10 days, so I am looking forward to play golf again."
Kaymer's countryman Marcel Siem, 41st on the Race to Dubai, has qualification for The Open Championship on his mind as well as becoming father to a girl in the last few days.
He explained: "My wife said, the kid is healthy, go on, no problem to play the next two weeks.
"After that, depends if I qualify for The Open. If I get the job done this week or next week, I might skip Scotland and just play The Open and then I have three weeks off after that. So it will be quality time for my whole family."
Having played a practice round on this week's course, he added: "It's nice and juicy on the fairways and rough, and the greens are firmer than usual, which is good.
"I think it's a good test and the wind is up already. I think I shot two‑under today, and it felt tough to me, definitely tougher than usual, and I think it's a great set-up. It's going to be a good week."
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