Martin Kaymer Special Feature Hugo Boss 2014
Posted at May 17, 2014
Following his fantastic win at the Players Championship last week, we feature Martin Kaymer and discover where his resurgent form has come from.
2010 was a great year for Martin Kaymer. Two major top ten finishes prior to a sparkling victory in the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits really established Martin as one of the greats of the game, backed up by a few other top performances on the European Tour and with the victorious European Ryder Cup side at Celtic Manor. He won the European Tour's golfer of the year award (shared with G-Mac) and became the world number one later on in 2011. However, Martin has now expressed how he definitely didn't feel like his game was the best of anyone else's. "I didn't feel like the best player on the Earth"; something was missing from his game which consequently made him feel like an incomplete golfer.
Along with his coach Gunter Kessler, Kaymer stripped back the elements of his golf swing to the very basics and slogged it out until his hands literally bled in practice over many days, weeks and months - all in a bid to improve on the weakest parts of his game. They primarily worked on the draw to increase his shot selections - but a project like that does not just click into place overnight. The hours turned into days, which turned into weeks even quicker than that. Since joining the PGA Tour full time in 2013, Kaymer accumulated only four top ten finishes in 26 starts before Sawgrass - far from a great return for a Major & WGC champion.
"I know my game a lot better now", says Martin in an interview for the PGA Tour's website, "but as a person, I also grew a lot." His time away from the limelight was not just about his golf swing. It was a coming of age for the Hugo Boss ambassador; he was still only 25 years old when he was thrusted onto the biggest golfing stage at the Ryder Cup immediately after winning the PGA Championship. A host of mediocre tour performances can only have added to the frustrations that his roller coaster ride must have been frought with, but Martin learnt a lot about himself - he matured and he strengthened his mindset - which was clearly evident last weekend.
His steely determination and ice cool composure was stretched to the limit on Sunday evening at The Players. Effectively leading from the outset with a stunning, course record-equalling 63 around the Stadium Course at Sawgrass, Martin clinched the flagship PGA Tour event with a long, swinging putt at the famous 17th hole during a treacherous run over the last few holes at Sawgrass - following a lengthy weather delay. 'TPC Sawgrass is a championship which helps to define a career' - this could not be any more true than in the case of Martin Kaymer, with that putt at 17 which will perhaps become the most defining moment in his re-emergence on the PGA Tour.
And it really is a re-emergence which looks likely to be maintained for a lengthy period. After two rounds of the HP Byron Nelson Championship this week, Kaymer is sitting pretty near the top of the leaderboard once again, just two strokes off the pace. He could quite easily have withdrawn from the tournament this week following a mentally and physically draining week at Sawgrass - but that is not Martin's style. His long-term caddie, Craig Connelly, summed it up perfectly in an interview with the BBC's Iain Carter - he has the mindset of the old Martin combined with the new and improved game and a new-found confidence in his putter - a trio of elements which could prove to be a serious threat at the remaining three major championships this season. Oh, and then there's the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles to consider, for which Kaymer has played himself right back into contention for. Even if he doesn't make the automatic selection places - a drink out with captain Paul McGinley on Sunday evening can't have done his chances any harm.
Martin Kaymer is a Hugo Boss brand ambassador and is currently wearing the 2014 Green Label golf collection on tour. Click here to discover the full range >>