November 06, 2011
You have to hand it to Martin Kaymer -- the guy may be quiet off the course, but when it comes to making noise on it, he certainly has a way of grabbing the spotlight when you least expect it.
In 2010, Kaymer came out of nowhere to capture the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. More than a year after his come-from-behind victory, the German was up to his old tricks in Shanghai, China, coming from five shots back with 12 holes remaining to win by one over Fredrik Jacobson at the WGC-HSBC Champions.
Kaymer's final round included 9 birdies in his final 12 holes; it was the kind round that definitely made you remember that for as much as we talk about Luke Donald, Keegan Bradley and Rory McIlroy as the top players in the golf, Kaymer is definitely another name that deserves to be in the mix.
Earlier this season, he was definitely the most talked-about golfer in the spot. After an early season wins in Abu Dhabi, Kaymer vaulted into the No. 1 spot in the world golf rankings following a runner-up finish at the WGC Accenture Match Play.
His swing was flawless and it seemed like Kaymer was unflappable under pressure, almost looking bored at times when he was in the lead. Many started to wonder if we were seeing the beginning of a new era in golf.
But as soon as we started talking about the guy, he disappeared from the radar, missing the cut at the Masters -- the decision to alter his usual ball flight to fit Augusta was a huge mistake -- and never recovering the rest of the season.
Soon after he ascended to the top spot in the world, Kaymer suddenly found himself being pulled in multiple directions. Of course, everyone wants a piece of the best player in the sport. Kaymer never admitted to being overwhelmed by the requests, but it was clear from his play that the pressure got to him early in the year.
That's why the win was so important for Kaymer. The "Germanator" needed something to boost his flagging confidence. And he certainly got it in the form of a huge win in Shanghai.
It's hard to say if this win will get Kaymer back on track going forward, but based on the way he played on Sunday, it's clear he's still one of the top talents in golf, and we need to keep an eye on him whenever he tees it up.