x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Kaymer continues dream run with second consecutive win

More glory for the German as he adds to French Open title by winning the Scottish Open by two strokes at Loch Lomond.

Martin Kaymer waves to the crowd at the 18th green after sealing his second successive victory on the European Tour at Loch Lomond.
Martin Kaymer waves to the crowd at the 18th green after sealing his second successive victory on the European Tour at Loch Lomond.

This is starting to become a habit. Martin Kaymer, a fearless young German player from Dusseldorf, won the Barclays Scottish Open by two strokes at Loch Lomond yesterday only a week after making off with the French Open title. Kaymer closed with a 69 to finish on 15 under par. He thwarted France's Raphael Jacquelin (66) and overnight leader Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (72), who wound up in a share of second place on 13 under.

Adam Scott closed with a 66 to share fourth place with Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark on 12. Lee Westwood posted a level-par 71 to finish on 10 under. Kaymer is the youngest player to claim the Scottish title. He is rapidly emerging as the most promising golfer to come out of Germany since their double US Masters champion Bernhard Langer began his professional career in the 1970s. Langer and Alex Cejka are the other Germans to win more than once in the same season in Europe.

Langer is the leading German winner with 42 tournament successes. Kaymer and Cejka occupy joint second spot with four tournament wins each. Kaymer led from start to finish in winning the Abu Dhabi championship last year. Despite suffering the personal turmoil of the death of his mother to cancer, he has continued his progress. His other Tour success came at last year's BMW International in Germany.

What prospect one wonders is there of a treble when Kaymer carries his considerable wares to Turnberry for the British Open? On the evidence of the shenanigans of the past fortnight, he certainly possesses the mindset required to snag a major tournament. A place in the European Ryder Cup side for their match with the US in Wales next year surely beckons. "It is really special for me to win at here at the home of golf in Scotland. I am delighted, and really pleased with my game. I am playing so solidly at the moment.

"Everybody is asking me about winning a third straight tournament, but next week is a major and next week is going to be the strongest we have all year. "I've been to Turnberry before, and I am really looking forward to it. I have heard it is going to be tough at Turnberry, but that is the way it should be at a major." Kaymer has a swing that stands up to the pressure in these types of events. He possesses that innate ability of all champions to retain composure in the moment.

This has been another week of inimitable memories around Loch Lomond. This was a week in which Colin Mongomerie used his warm-up round on Wednesday to pitch a shot at a boat, a week in which Retief Goosen "topped" a tee shot off the first tee on his way to a second-round 63 and a week in which the sun looked down favourably for the vast majority of the four days. The Scottish Open has a burgeoning prize fund of £3million (Dh17.8m) and the line-up included 22 of the world's top 50 players. They were all left in the slipstream of the 19th-ranked Kaymer.

Goosen was the first member of the final group to fall off the pace, winding down his week on 11 under after a card of 73 for the day. As he strode up the 18th fairway accepting the applause of the home galleries, Kaymer looked a rich man. He won £500,000 for his effort. He has won £1m over the past seven days. One imagines he may need a large wheelbarrow to get out of Turnberry if he continues in such a positive frame of mind. dkane@thenational.ae