MARTIN KAYMER IS A SOFT-spoken German with the skills and nerve of an international cat burglar. On Sunday, the 25-year-old was spotted slipping away from the Old Course with yet another piece of valuable hardware, his third trophy caper in 56 days. He is the first player since Tiger Woods in 2006 to win three consecutive titles on the European Tour.
While Lee Westwood is poised to take the No. 1 ranking away from Woods, Kaymer is sneaking up on both of them. His victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship moves him to No. 4 in the Official World Golf Ranking behind Woods, Westwood and Phil Mickelson.
At St. Andrews on Sunday in cold and blustery conditions that produced plenty of sock hats and occasional over-sized mittens to warm hands, Kaymer posted a clever 66 that featured a birdie-birdie finish to win by three strokes. On the 17th, the famous Road Hole, he rolled in a lengthy putt from off the back of the green for an improbable birdie three. Then, at 18, Kaymer struck his approach shot from the paved road that crosses the fairway. The ball stopped six feet from the hole and rolled into the cup on the next stroke.
The German golf star flashed a grin like he had just cracked a safe and slipped the diamonds into his satchel, which, in a way, he had. The win was worth €580,046.40 and raises his season money total to €3,134,447. Kaymer now leads Graeme McDowell in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai by a wide margin.
“It was always one of my dreams to win here at St. Andrews,” he said.
Sure, why not? Martin Kaymer is checking a lot of things off his list in recent days. First major. (Check.) First Ryder Cup. (Check.) First win at the Old Course. (Check.)
In addition to winning the PGA Championship in August and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship this weekend, Kaymer took the KLM Open in the Netherlands in September. Except for a thrashing in Ryder Cup singles at the hands of Dustin Johnson, it’s been a near-perfect two months for the Dusseldorf native.
At the moment, Kaymer is the world’s hottest player. Perhaps he’s also on his way to being the world’s top-ranked player.
−The Armchair Golfer