Martin Kaymer grew up just 20 miles from the venue of this week’s BMW International Open. Six years ago, in only his second season on tour, Kaymer became the first German to win his national open.
The victory wasn’t all plain sailing, however. After opening up a six shot lead over Charl Schwartzel entering the final day, nerves got the better of him. Kaymer slumped to a fourth round 75, allowing Anders Hansen to force a play-off. He kept his composure though, and saw the Dane off with a birdie on the first extra hole.
Martin Kaymer : Race to Dubai
A win would see Kaymer overtake Thomas Bjorn at the top of The Race to Dubai rankings. He is currently snapping at Bjorn’s heels having played only played in eight tournaments, but McIlroy and Co are not too far behind.
Martin Kaymer's competition
Last year’s Race to Dubai winner Henrik Stenson posses a threat to Martin Kaymer’s title hopes. The Swede has four-top-tens in his last five events, that’s two more than Kaymer has managed all year. He also loves coming back to Germany’s Open, carding five-top-ten finishes in his last seven visits. One of them being a win in 2006 after a three-way play-off.
As well as Martin Kaymer, other top Europeans in the field include Spanish pair Sergio Garcia, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Thomas Bjorn and Victor Dubuisson.
A British winner?
England’s Danny Willett lifted the trophy two years ago, the last time it was played at Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof. He also finished third in the Irish Open last week, and he’s confident he can challenge again.
“I’m playing some really nice golf at the minute,” said Willett. “I know the course very well. I’m excited about going back there, because the course would suit me much better than the one in Munich does.
“The scoring’s not usually as low so you need to really work hard for your birdies, and I enjoy that challenge.”
Paul Lawrie, Richie Ramsay and Marc Warren are among the Scottish challenge. No Scots made the top-30 last time around. They will be hoping for a better performance this week.