November 19, 2009
Coming into the season, many golf observers were picking Martin Kaymer as a breakout star. By the summertime, everything was lining up well for the young German, as he won the Barclays Scottish Open and the French Open in consecutive weeks.
But then came August, and an ill-fated trip on a go-kart. He wrecked and broke several toes, and just like that put a huge dent in his chances to win the Race to Dubai.
He entered the current Dubai World Championships in third place, more than $330,000 behind leader Rory McIlroy. Now, he could still win the championship and the monstrous Race to Dubai, but it's much harder now. Lee Westwood and Ross Fisher are also in the mix.
If Kaymer wins, he becomes the youngest Vardon winner since Bernhard Langer in 1981 -- though, it must be pointed out, McIlroy would be the second-youngest of all time, behind the 19-year-old Seve Ballesteros in 1976.
Regardless, Kaymer is poised to be one of the major players on the golf scene for the next few years ... though it sure sounds like he's not giving up the golf carts: "It was just unlucky," he said. "It was not my fault. It was the fault of the other driver. He crashed into me and pushed me into the guys in front ... I'm sure I will do it again in the future and have fun."
All right, then. Well, for now, Kaymer in a tie for 22nd, six strokes off the lead, after the first round. Good thing there aren't any carts on the course.