Saturday 25 November 2017

Kaymer and McDowell lead the way

Martin Kaymer crowned a magnificent season in Dubai last weekend. Photo: Reuters
Martin Kaymer crowned a magnificent season in Dubai last weekend. Photo: Reuters

Karl MacGinty

MARTIN KAYMER has become one of the most formidable competitors in world sport. Last Thursday, for example, the 25-year-old's focus appeared as impenetrable as that of Michael Schumacher as he stared down his Race to Dubai rival Graeme McDowell on the Earth Course.

And Kaymer's natural talent and the joy he derives from his sport is also reminiscent of Germany's current Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel.

It shone on Sunday evening as Europe's new No 1 outlined his wish-list for next season.

"I'd like to prove I'm Europe's No 1, take that challenge on again and win the Race to Dubai," he said.

"It'd be nice to win a Major again, preferably the British Open, our only one in Europe -- and I've never made a hole-in-one, that'd be nice in 2011."

He could have been a kid dictating his letter to Santa.

Kaymer is the hottest golfer on the planet, but he's not thinking of world No 1 right now.

That's Graeme McDowell's target, which the hard-driving Portrush man believes he can achieve by improving his short game.

"From 75 yards in, I know I'm not a world-class player and need to become better from that area," McDowell explained. "I'd probably give myself five out of 10 right now, but I need to become an eight or nine out of 10."

You see, the sky's the limit for a new generation of young golf professionals as a wave of ambition, optimism and adventure has filled the vacuum left by Tiger Woods' implosion. Woods was golf's great dictator.

"He looked pretty untouchable, pretty invincible and we were all playing for second, really," said McDowell.

Well, not anymore. A new, more exciting era has dawned in golf and guys like Kaymer and McDowell are best placed to take advantage.

Irish Independent

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