HILVERSUM, NETHERLANDS | Two years ago at
Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky, European Ryder
Cup captain Nick Faldo brought the then-25-
year-old Martin Kaymer across the Atlantic to
experience the atmosphere of the event.
Faldo rightly reckoned that the young
German, even though not a playing member of
the squad, would one day be a stalwart on the
European side and he wanted him to soak up as
much of the intensity as possible.
Last month at Wisconsin’s vexing Whistling
Straits, Kaymer outlasted American Bubba
Watson in a playoff and captured the PGA
Championship. Sunday at Hilversumsche Golf
Club, Kaymer breezed to a four-shot victory in
the KLM Open.
So now, when he arrives at Celtic Manor in
Wales for the Ryder Cup matches that begin
two weeks from Friday, Kaymer
will own a two-event winning
streak and, arguably, the
label as the hottest player
in the world.
Faldo’s team at Valhalla
got thrashed soundly by
the Americans and his critics
railed at many of his strategic decisions. But no
one can argue the decision to expose Kaymer
to the cauldron that is the
Kaymer’s winning total at
the KLM was 14-under-par
266. That included rounds of
Christian Nilsson and Paraguay’s Fabrizio
Zanotti, playing in the final group with Kaymer,
wound up at 10-under 270.
American Todd Hamilton, who won the Open
Championship in 2004 and stayed close to
Kaymer much of Sunday, bogeyed the last two
holes and faded to a disappointing T11.
“I set out to be consistent in the final round,”
said Kaymer, sounding very much like his Hall
of Fame countryman Bernhard Langer. “I just
wanted to give myself chances and avoid high
numbers. Which is what I did. And my swing felt
To be sure, it looked nice as well. The vic-
tory was his seventh on the European Tour and
stretched his lead in the Race To Dubai over No.
2 Graeme McDowell to close to €500,000.
One of the key questions now becomes who
Montgomerie will pair Kaymer with in the
Ryder Cup matches that begin Oct. 1. Let
the lobbying begin.
Kaymer said he would especially be
pleased if Montgomerie teamed him with
Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy against
players – Gonzalo
no, David Horsey,
Jose Manuel Lara and
reigning Open Champion
Louis Oosthuizen – tied for
fourth. Oosthuizen and
Lara both closed with
Staff and Wire Reports
2008 U.S. Ryder Cup Team Captain:
“This is the best golf glove ever made.”