Kaymer wins big event by looking at big picture

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 12, 2014 at 3:16 pm •  Published: May 12, 2014
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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Martin Kaymer reached the top of golf and wondered how he got there.

He won his first major at the 2010 PGA Championship. He reached No. 1 in the world six months later. And then he realized his game would not be good enough to stay there.

Kaymer wasn't much different from Tiger Woods, who overhauled his swing not long after a record-setting performance in the 1997 Masters. Kaymer was concerned about being a one-dimensional player — his primary shot was a fade — especially if he wanted to contend at Augusta National and other majors.

He just didn't realize it would take this long.

Halfway through his victory at The Players Championship, he thought back to the time he put in on his game.

"All that work, all the hours," Kaymer said. "When you are standing on the range for six, seven hours, hitting the same shot, the same drill, you feel like it should be enough. You just don't want to be there at one stage because it's so much. And it's a little boring as well. But you know long term, it will become something good."

It paid off in a big way last week at The Players, the next best thing to a major.

The 29-year-old German tied the course record with a 63 on Thursday and was never behind after any round the rest of the way. His biggest challenge Sunday was when he had to return from a 90-minute storm delay and finish four holes in which he had everything to lose.

Even with a double bogey that cut his lead to one shot, he didn't feel as if the tournament were slipping away.

About the only thing that annoyed him was that "soft egg" moment to the left the green on the par-5 16th. Kaymer had spoken all week about being confident enough in his swing to stop thinking about the mechanics and to start playing by feel. He talked about hitting the right shot — the brave shot — not the easy one.

He kept using the word, "wimp," until he jokingly was asked the German word for it.

"Weiches ei," he replied in his native language. And then he offered that polite smile and added the English translation. "It's 'soft egg.'"

Instead of chipping on the 16th, Kaymer decided to use a putter. He didn't hit it nearly hard enough, so instead of having a good chance at birdie, he had to two-putt from over 30 feet just to make par and keep his one-shot lead.