Martin Kaymer (pictured) is unlikely to face a more intense and pressurised situation than being faced with a five foot putt to ensure Europe did not lose the Ryder Cup. Kaymer holed that crucial putt at the Medinah Country Club last September and has since recaptured the form that saw him win the U.S. PGA Championship in 2010.
There was a dip in form after Kaymer won his first major and he was unable to maintain his status at number one in the world rankings. In the last 12 months he has played himself back into the top 50 in the standings and is currently 28th in the world.
Kaymer is now assured of playing in the majors and World Golf Championship events this season, based on his world ranking. Now back to his best he looks to be a leading contender in the biggest events of the year, especially on the longer courses.
The German finished inside the top 30 for driving distance on the European Tour last year. The host Doha Golf Club course that is the regular venue for the Qatar Masters puts a premium on distance over accuracy.
In the context of this week’s tournament Kaymer can figure as he has a solid bank of course form in his record. He has made the cut for the last four years in Qatar, including in those year when he wasn’t playing his best golf.
Kaymer proved his enduring class by winning the HSBC Champions tournament at the end of 2011. He failed to build on that win in the early part of 2012 but his Ryder Cup achievements seem to have given him the confidence to play well in strong fields.
It’s also worth noting that Kaymer finished inside the top 10 in the Abu Dhabi Championship last week. At the end of play he was just five shots behind the winner after playing his best golf over the weekend. Kaymer has won that tournament three times so clearly has a game suited to desert golf.
Our Player in Focus will have to cope with the local Shamal wind like the rest of the field. The wind tends to get up in the afternoon so a morning round one tee time will enhance Kaymer’s chances. He looks in good enough form to win for the eleventh time on the European Tour.