Masters 2014: Martin Kaymer looking to start where he left off

Golf Monthly talks exclusively to Martin Kaymer ahead of the start of the 2014 Masters at Augusta National

Martin Kaymer
Martin Kaymer is looking to improve on a poor record at The Masters

Golf Monthly talks exclusively to Martin Kaymer ahead of the start of the 2014 Masters at Augusta National

Words: Robin Barwick

Martin Kaymer comes into the 2014 Masters beneath radar detection. Despite being a major winner at the 2010 PGA Championship, the 29-year-old German golfer is yet to figure in the running in six previous Masters appearances. His best Masters result was last year, when he finished in a tie for 35th, so it is not a record that grabs attention, yet there was a spark for Kaymer at the end of the 2013 tournament at Augusta. A final round of 70, two under par – a career best on this treacherous golf course – featured a back nine of 32, with six birdies in the last seven holes. At the end of his round, Kaymer did not want to go home.

“I just let go,” recalls Kaymer, who was ranked number one in the world in 2011. “You have to find the right balance at Augusta between controlling certain shots and then just letting go with others. For me that was the best nine holes I have ever played at Augusta. I made a bogey on the 13th, having been close to the green in two, but then I finished with five birdies and built up some momentum, so really I wish there had been a couple more rounds to play last year. I am excited to start again this week and hopefully I can continue where I left off.

“The Masters is probably the biggest test we face each year. As a golfer, at different times you work on different parts of your game, but right now I am working hard on every aspect of my game, and now it is time for me to make the work show in my results.”

Other than his final nine holes here in 2013, there was another nine at Augusta that remain vivid in Kaymer’s memory.

“My first ever nine holes at Augusta was the back nine with Bernhard Langer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus in 2008,” recalls Kaymer, who has enjoyed strong support from his countryman Langer throughout his career. “That was my first ever major and it was a great start for me. It took us a long time to get round the golf course because there were standing ovations on every tee.

“I was a little shy – I was only 22 years old – and I did not really know what to say, but it was great to talk to them. There were three different eras of golf playing in one group, and it was very interesting to talk about how the game has changed, talking about how golf courses and equipment have changed. It seems crazy to think today that when Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player were my age, they had to travel to tournaments with their own practice golf balls. Gary told me how he always used to pick up tee pegs whenever he saw them, because they were so expensive back then. Today we just get as many golf balls and tees as we want. We take it for granted.”

Kaymer tees off in the first round at 1:40pm with Americans Craig Stadler and Scott Stallings.

Robin Barwick travelled to Augusta National courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, Global Sponsor of the 2014 Masters Tournament

 

 

 

 

Nick Bonfield
Nick Bonfield

Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, commissioning and feature writing. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel with The Masters and USPGA respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email nick.bonfield@futurenet.com with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x