Ryder Cup hero Martin Kaymer is looking to build on his good record in the Portugal Masters when he tees it up at Oceânico Victoria Golf Course this week.
The German, who has had two top-ten finishes in his last three appearances in the event, sealed the winning point for Europe at Medinah two weeks ago before finishing a respectable 34th at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last week.
Former US PGA Champion Kaymer believes the confidence gained from holing that six footer at the 18th, along with his previous form in the event, can bring success this week.
“I played very well here in the past, and at the moment, I feel very happy the way I hit the ball,” said Kaymer.
“Unfortunately last week my putter was very cold – I probably left everything at The Ryder Cup. But that's why I spent a little bit more time on the putting green yesterday and today and hopefully will be ready for a good round tomorrow.
“I've been here many times in the past with my parents and my brother. We played a lot of golf here. Every time it's nice to come here to get more experience about the place, but it's just nice and a very big tournament; as professionals we are very glad to play here.”
Kaymer’s heroics at Medinah came on the back of a disappointing season, which saw the 27 year old go seven months without a top ten finish.
However, the ten-time European Tour winner now feels ready to start challenging again regularly.
“I worked a lot on my swing that I didn't have a lot of time to work on my short game, and I think once we can get that going again, I will be able to compete more often and put myself up there,” he added – and the signs of Kaymer’s outstanding short game were certainly present on the 18th green in Chicago.
“It's just one of those things that you know exactly what you have to do, and you don't really have time and you don't even spend any time thinking of something besides that particular putt.
“There's enough focus on the six footer, and I think if you waste any thoughts on something different, then you completely lose your focus on the main part. I knew that putt needs to go in to retain The Ryder Cup.
“It was a lot of pressure but a huge relief, for not only myself, but for the team, because I felt like I'm not playing for myself, those two, three last holes.
“There were 11 guys behind me, and so obviously they can add a little bit more pressure. But I could use it in a very positive way.
“I think it gives me more motivation. It's great if something that big happens to you, because there's never, ever going to be a putt bigger or more important for me in my life. So if that doesn't motivate you, I think that you don't have the right passion for the sport.”