Kaymer does the double for Germany at NGCon December 3, 2012
It’s interesting to hear Martin Kaymer speak of pressure. As much as he keeps telling us he’s feeling it, he’s showing us something completely different.
A few months back he shouldered the most unbearable pressure in golf and holed the key putt for Europe to retain the Ryder Cup. At Sun City on Sunday he showed similar resolve when he claimed a two-stroke victory in the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
He felt the pressure of a double bogey on the third hole, and responded with three birdies over the turn. He felt the pressure of Charl Schwartzel breathing down his neck on the back nine. Then Kaymer pushed his drive deep into the rough on the par-five 14th, and it seemed that pressure had finally broken him.
But he responded with a magnificent shot out of the trees and back onto the fairway, and turned what was looking like a double bogey into a birdie. He did go on to bogey 15, but Schwartzel couldn’t capitalise, slipping to a bogey on 17. And that left Kaymer with three pars coming home for a 69 and victory on eight under par. Schwartzel also closed with a 69 to finish second on six under. American Bill Haas took third on three under with a 71, while Louis Oosthuizen just couldn’t get a putt to drop as he signed off with a 74 to finish on two under.
With his victory, Kaymer completed the German double in this year’s event after his countryman and mentor Bernhard Langer won the Nedbank Champions Challenge.
“I felt more pressure than usual because everybody, even the German media, was talking about a German double after Bernhard won,” said Kaymer.
“I’m very happy to win because I’ve been working hard on my game, but it just wasn’t happening on the golf course. You look at all those great names on the bronze plaques on the walkway to the ninth green, and it’s nice to know mine will be on there as well.” Then he says it again. “I felt the pressure because I hadn’t won yet this year. I said to my caddie, ‘We have to win at least once a year’.”
And we all know how he responded.