Martin Kaymer (Getty Images)
Martin Kaymer is happy to be back at his “favourite golf course in the world” as he attempts to win a second Alfred Dunhill Links Championship title.
The German triumphed in 2010 – the fourth title in a hugely successful season which culminated in him winning The Race to Dubai – and he always relishes returning to St Andrews, which along with Kingsbarns and Carnoustie forms part of the three-course tournament played in a pro-am format.
As usual, his amateur partner is his brother Philip, who has their father as his caddie, and the 28 year old is looking forward to a break from the norm.
“It will be entertaining for sure and that makes the tournament very nice,” said ten-time European Tour winner. “Especially in our case because I can play with someone I know very well and we always have a good time.
“I’m excited to play with Philip and he’s looking forward to the week. We don’t really have a chance to win the team competition because his handicap is plus one, so he has to shoot better than the winning professional on Sunday, I guess.
“It’s important for the three of us to spend time together, and it’s just nice to play the tournament. St Andrews is my favourite course in the world, and the people in Scotland understand golf. They understand the sportsmanship, the whole thing. It’s really enjoyable to play here.”
Although Kaymer’s form this season has not been up to his usual standards let alone the zenith of 2010 – he simply assessed his year as “bad” – he is determined to take some positives.
“It was very special, 2010. Every tournament I played, I wanted to win – it wasn’t about finishing top ten or anything,” he said.
“But form is very tough to continue. If you win four tournaments in one year, including a Major, it's very difficult to keep that up.
“People obviously want to be very kind to me and say it is a fairly average season, but it has not been a good season. We can be honest about that. But I have learned a lot, so what other people don't see, they are not supposed to see, for myself, it was still a very, very good season - probably the best season off the golf course I’ve had.
“It's all fine, and I don’t think it will take me that long to play better golf again.”