Robin Barwick, our man on the ground at Valhalla, spoke to Martin Kaymer ahead of the start of the 2014 USPGA Championship
Here at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, there is no shortage of real intrigue in the build-up to the 2014 USPGA Championship, the final major of the year.
Rory McIlroy will roll into town as the new world number one, in an attempt to win his third successive tournament and fourth career major, Tiger Woods might not roll into town at all, after withdrawing from the Bridgestone Invitational with recurring back trouble yesterday,
Dustin Johnson certainly won’t be here after announcing his leave of absence last week, and meanwhile, with seven weeks to go until the Ryder Cup, speculation and competition for places is intense.
In fact, Johnson will be relieved there are plenty of other stories this week to deflect attention away from his unexplained period of rehabilitation.
Martin Kaymer is playing his part in that, by telling Golf Monthly in an exclusive interview that he is convinced Bernhard Langer should receive a Ryder Cup wildcard card pick from captain Paul McGinley, to make his compatriot the oldest player in Ryder Cup history.
“It would be great if Paul McGinley would consider Bernhard Langer as a wildcard pick,” starts Kaymer, who is a certainty for the European team, having won the Players Championship and US Open this year. “It would be fantastic for me, for German sports and it would be brilliant for the European team.
“There is no doubt in my mind. I think Paul should sit down with Bernhard and ask him what he honestly thinks, because the way I know Bernhard, if he has any doubts about whether he is capable of taking on the challenge, or if he did not feel 100 percent comfortable playing in the Ryder Cup, he would say so. From my point of view, Bernhard could only be a help to the European team.”
Langer turns 57 in August, and he would break Ray Floyd’s record as the oldest Ryder Cup golfer, after the American played in 1993 at the age of 51. Langer is certainly not playing like he is 57, having won the Senior Open two weeks ago by a record 13 shots at Royal Porthcawl.
“Just imagine the first tee on the Friday morning at Gleneagles,” adds Kaymer, “with Bernhard Langer on the tee. I do not think it could get any better for us.”
Langer has represented Europe in the Ryder Cup 10 times, between 1981 and 2002, playing in 42 matches; a record surpassed only by Nick Faldo. Langer also captained Europe to its biggest ever winning margin on American soil, at Oakland Hills in 2004, with a final score of 18 ½ to 9 ½.
Robin Barwick travelled to the PGA Championship courtesy of Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes-Benz is the official car of the PGA Championship
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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 win The Masters and PGA Championship 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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