Kaymer first flew onto American radar in 2008 when he finished the Dubai Desert Classic with a birdie-birdie-eagle close but lost by a stroke to an unknown golfer by the name of Woods. But then last year, he started to seriously bust out, winning the French Open and the Barclays Scottish Open in consecutive weeks in July.
And then came the go-kart accident, which nearly torpedoed his hopes for winning the Race to Dubai. During his layoff, Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy caught and passed him, but even toward the end of 2009, he had a chance to make a run at the big prize. (He fell short, finishing third.)
Now, though, it's a new year and a new chance to dominate. Kaymer won last weekend's Abu Dhabi Championship by a single stroke over a field that included most of the best names in golf currently playing. And, as Kaymer noted, the win already has Kaymer turning his eyes to this summer's Ryder Cup: "My main goal is to play the Ryder Cup this year because when I went there two years ago I really felt I want to be there one day because it is so cool," he said. "Even though I wasn't playing, it gave me so much experience and it helped me so much."
With Kaymer, Westwood, McIlroy and others, the European team is already shaping up to be a serious competitor while our greatest American players hang out on the sidelines or in various clinics. The Europeans are already almost good enough that Colin Montgomerie can't screw it up. Almost.
Kaymer is looking toward the PGA Tour for 2011 or 2012, which gives the Americans about another year to get their games in gear. Come on, Americans! Step up the pace!
- European Tour