Wednesday, April 20, 2011

World number One targets Wentworth

World Number One Martin Kaymer basked in the glorious sunshine of Wentworth Club today and admitted he has set his sights on adding next month’s BMW PGA Championship to his already impressive list of career victories. The 26 year old reigning US PGA Champion and 2010 Race to Dubai winner will be part of a galaxy of golfing stars who will tee up on the West Course at the famous Surrey venue for the flagship event on The European Tour International Schedule from May 26 to 29. With just over a month to go to the championship, Kaymer paid a visit to Wentworth Club to take part in a wide-ranging multi-media day to promote the tournament, which will also feature the three other current Major Champions; Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel as well as the entire winning European Ryder Cup team and captain Colin Montgomerie reunited on British soil for the first time since their memorable victory in Wales last October. Kaymer began the day with a 15 minute question and answer session in the Wentworth Club’s ballroom in front of an array of journalists from newspapers and magazines, before undertaking a range of live and recorded radio and television interviews over the next three hours with stations from both the United Kingdom and his native Germany. “I just love it here,” said the nine time European Tour champion who captured the BMW International Open title in his native Germany in 2008 and who moved to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time at the end of February. “The whole place is so classy and the whole of Wentworth has a wonderful feel to it. “It is definitely one of my goals to win at Wentworth and, seeing the course like it is today, I can definitely envisage myself walking up the 18th fairway on the Sunday to get my hands on the trophy. I have always enjoyed coming here – in fact I used to watch the tournament on television and it was always a fantastic field. “My first time playing here was in 2007 and I was sitting on the putting green and I called my brother and said ‘You know where I am right now?’ It was such a huge thing for me and a very important tournament so it’s always a privilege to come here. It would be fantastic to win.” Asked what the key is to playing well over Wentworth’s iconic West Course, Kaymer replied: “I know there have been some changes to the eighth and 18th holes, but for me it’s always the same: give yourself chances. That’s what I try to do. I don’t think it’s too difficult to have chances. It’s a pretty straightforward golf course but one of the best we have in Europe. I’ve just got to get myself into contention for Saturday and Sunday and hope to get close.” Kaymer admitted the overall strength of the field which will assemble at Wentworth Club next month is a perfect illustration of the new world order in golf. “You can see The European Tour has grown so much,” he said. “The last five or six years have been incredible and it’s a very good feeling to be part of it and be associated with The European Tour. The Ryder Cup is a fantastic example. We could have had two teams and had a good chance to win with both.” The German also admitted that he believed the future of European golf is in safe hands with the emergence of young players such as Rory McIlroy and Matteo Manassero, who won his second Tour title last weekend in the Maybank Malaysian Open.He said: “First of all I think what Matteo does and what he did last week in Malaysia, the way he won the tournament, was very impressive for such a young guy. You see the young guys like Matteo and Rory and it’s fantastic to see the future. I will play against those guys for the next ten to 15 years. It’s nice to have the new generation coming up.” As for his own game, Kaymer revealed he is still getting used to being called the World Number One. “It’s a good feeling, for sure,” he said. “The first couple of weeks it was very weird, because the Number One was always Tiger Woods and when I turned professional I never really thought I’d become World Number One, to be honest. “After the Match Play in America when I became Number One, my brother called me and asked if he could come over to Phoenix for a few days to practise and hang out. So he came over with a friend of ours and we played some golf. Then on Tuesday he said we have to go to the airport again. I said ‘What, are you flying out again?’, and he said ‘No, it’s a surprise’. “So we got to the airport and my dad showed up as well. He just came over for 24 hours. I asked him why he was there and he said he just wanted to congratulate me for being World Number One. He said he didn’t know when he’d see me next and if I would still be Number One by then, so he just wanted to take the opportunity to say congratulations. That’s how my dad is – it meant a lot. “That evening we all went to a steakhouse for dinner and they brought this dessert out. We hadn’t ordered anything but on the plate it said ‘Congratulations World Number One’. It was that night that I started to realise how big it is and how cool the feeling is.”

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