x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Martin Kaymer can score one for the European Ryder Cup team

In a revamped US season that began last year, the former world No 1 became the first European to win this year on the PGA Tour, ending a daunting streak as golf enters another Ryder Cup stretch.

Martin Kaymer of Germany hits from the sand on the eleventh hole during the final round of the Players Championship at the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA on May 11, 2014.  EPA/ERIK S LESSER
Martin Kaymer of Germany hits from the sand on the eleventh hole during the final round of the Players Championship at the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA on May 11, 2014. EPA/ERIK S LESSER

Once again, the player once dubbed the “Germanator” came to the fore.

Dusseldorf’s Martin Kaymer, a hero of the European Ryder Cup side in Chicago two years ago, delivered his best performance in at least two years last weekend, winning the vaunted Players Championship in Florida.

The timing could not have been better. Amazingly, in a revamped US season that began last year, the former world No 1 became the first European to win this year on the PGA Tour, ending a daunting streak as golf enters another Ryder Cup stretch.

To say it has been a lean year for top Europeans would be a par-5-sized understatement.

While the players in the Ryder Cup are often fluid, the European team has had several warhorses of late, including Ian Poulter, Luke Donald, Justin Rose, Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson and Kaymer.

Before Kaymer won on Sunday, that group had combined for one global victory in 2014, and not a single player had moved up in the world rankings in the past year. Of the Ryder regulars, only Sergio Garcia, who won at Qatar, has climbed in the rankings since January, moving up three places to world No 7.

Kaymer secured the Ryder Cup with a pressure putt on the 18th green in 2012 to defeat Steve Stricker, capping a superb European comeback.

This time, in winning the so-called “fifth major”, he hopes to be the catalyst, not the clincher.

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