'It's Quite Difficult For Me To Handle' - Martin Kaymer Struggling With Lost Decade Ahead Of Pinehurst Return

Martin Kaymer hopes a return to Pinehurst will give his game a spark as he still struggles with the fact that US Open win a decade ago was his last tournament victory

Martin Kaymer with the trophy after his US Open win
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As he prepares to return to the scene of 2014 US Open victory, Martin Kaymer admits it is "quite difficult for me to handle" the fact that he's not won a tournament since his dominant success at Pinehurst No.2 a decade ago.

Kaymer lapped the field at Pinehurst to win by eight shots in 2014 to claim his second Major title in tremendous style.

The win came just a month after he also won The Players Championship so Kaymer could not have been in better form - but it has all gone downhill from there.

Aside from winning the now defunct four-man PGA Tour Grand Slam event in 2014, Kaymer has not won a regular tournament since lifting the US Open at Pinehurst - something even he finds hard to believe.

"Obviously the last 10 years if you would have told me at the press conference that I'm not going to win the tournament from 2014 until 2024, I would have thought you were crazy," said Kaymer at the LIV Golf event in Houston.

"But this is the reality and this obviously is quite difficult for me to handle, that I haven't won since then.

"But this is the sport, and I guess this is what we try to do to become better, and hopefully we're going to be on top soon again."

Kaymer said the way he won the US Open in such dominant fashion took him by surprise - as winning a Major in such a way is a rare achievement.

"It was overwhelming feeling winning a major by eight shots," he added. "I did not expect myself to do that. I know I was playing good golf going in there. I won The Players Championship two months before that, so I knew I was playing well. 

"But then shooting 10-under par after two rounds on that golf course, I almost felt a little bit embarrassed about it because two days prior to the event I was asked what I believed the winning score would be, and I said probably 2- or 3-over par, and then you shoot 10-under, and you surprise yourself."

Kaymer went to World No.1 and won those two Majors with his trademark fade, but tried to work a draw into his swing in a bid to challenge at Augusta - believing a right-handed fader couldn't win The Masters.

While that was in part credited with his decline, losing a 10-shot lead at the Abu Dhabi Championship in January 2015 left Kaymer in shock, while injuries have also played a part.

But the German hopes a return to Pinehurst with his happy memories can help spark something in his game in the third Major of the year.

"I haven't been back since I won there, so obviously I have a lot of good memories," Kaymer said of Pinehurst. 

"Pinehurst obviously has a lot of good memories for me, and hopefully with the form that is trending in the right direction and the positivity that I gained back then in Pinehurst will hopefully create some good scores."

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.