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5 famous moments for Germans in the British Open

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 15, 2014 at 2:39 am •  Published: July 15, 2014
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HOYLAKE, England (AP) — No one had a brighter smile than Martin Kaymer when he stepped onto the practice green outside the clubhouse at Royal Liverpool.

Yes, he is the U.S. Open champion.

His country is much more.

Kaymer celebrated Sunday night as Germany captured its first World Cup since 1990 by beating Argentina in extra time.

Now if he can bring some of that magic to the links of Hoylake for the British Open. Kaymer was the first to bring up the lack of German success at golf's oldest championship after winning at Pinehurst No. 2. He made reference to the "German Grand Slam," for this is the only major his country does not have. Kaymer previously won the PGA Championship, while Bernhard Langer is a two-time Masters champion.

German history is limited in the British Open. Here are five moments that stand out:

5. FRANK KECK

Not to suggest that Germany has a sparse golfing history in the British Open before Langer came along, but among the first players listed in the records was Frank Keck, an amateur who finished dead last among 96 players in St. Andrews in 1957.

He is listed as being from Germany.

Turns out Keck was a champion golfer from Illinois and a lieutenant in the Air Force. According to newspaper accounts, he happened to be stationed in Germany.

Keck made news as one of the qualifiers for The Open.

Alas, he opened with an 83 and followed with an 82 to miss the cut by 18 shots.

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4. MARTIN KAYMER

One year after winning the PGA Championship, and still No. 3 in the world, Kaymer opened with rounds of 68-69 at Royal St. George's in 2011 and was just one shot behind Darren Clarke going into the weekend.

He closed with rounds of 73-73 to tie for 11th, and that was as close as Kaymer has come to the claret jug. He tied for seventh a year earlier at St. Andrews, but he was 10 shots behind Louis Oosthuizen.

His hope this year is that he is playing very well, and Pinehurst No. 2 (where he won the U.S. Open) was firm and fast like a links course.

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3. ALEX CEJKA

Alex Cejka's story is not common in this sport of privilege. He was 9 when he though his father was taking him on a holiday, which included swimming across a river that was part of the Iron Curtain to flee Czechoslovakia. They settled in Munich, and he became a German citizen, and eventually a professional golfer.

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