As German golf was enjoying an all-time high with Bernhard Langer winning Major Championships and starring in The Ryder Cup, a plethora of talent was taking to the fairways in an attempt to follow in his footsteps.
One of those men was Heinz Peter Thül, who competed on the European Challenge Tour when it was in its infancy in the early 1990s.
His maiden victory – the first for a German in Challenge Tour history – came at the 1991 Neuchatel Open in Switzerland, a title he successfully defended a year later.
A pair of runner-up finishes in 1991 ensured Thül finished the year 13th on the Challenge Tour Order of Merit, a result he bettered only once in the next six years when he finished 11th in 1997.
Thül’s early success paved the way for a long list of German Challenge Tour winners including Alex Cejka, Marcel Schneider and, most recently, Sebastian Heisele at the 2019 Open de Bretagne as he finished fourth on the Road to Mallorca Rankings.
The most successful German Challenge Tour player of all-time, however, is double Major winner Martin Kaymer.
The Dusseldorf man needed only eight starts on the 2006 Challenge Tour International Schedule to secure promotion and a full European Tour card.
He won twice and finished inside the top ten on a further four occasions as he secured a fourth place finish on the season-long Rankings and he never looked back.
Just four years after graduating, Kaymer won his first Major Championship at the US PGA Championship – his sixth European Tour win – and reached Number One in the Official World Golf Ranking a year later.
Kaymer has since picked up five further European Tour wins, including his second Major triumph at the 2014 U.S. Open Championship.